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VOL 34 NUM 2 • DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018


GIVE HARD WATER FISHING A TRY! See the story on page 30






Robert B. Hunt, Publisher


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Published six times per year, our paper exists to serve the our mature readers. We encouraged our readers to contribute interesting material. As such, any views expressed in editorial are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Likewise, this publication does not endorse any particular product or service shown in the advertisements appearing in this paper. All copy appearing in this publication is copyright protected and may be reprinted only with written permission of the publisher.

Janet Hunt ......................... arol lodgett ................... ean radle ..................... athleen c regor .......... herrie ith .................... onathan Ri el ..............

Contributing Writers

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Russell Rowland aron arrett ianna Tro er arrie tensrud atalie artle li abeth arch

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A New Kind of Christmas Letter

BY LESLIE HANDLER (Senior Wire) Facebook is a funny thing. If you’re not on it, you may feel that you’re missing something. If you are on it, it’s the most amazing time-suck ever. It’s also a great connection to finding and reconnecting with old friends and staying in touch with current friends and family. The good thing about Facebook is that you can place one post about something and the word will spread without having to make a million separate emails and phone calls. When my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago, we placed one post about our loss on Facebook and were astonished at the number of people who showed up to her funeral whom we hadn’t seen or spoken to in many years. It was a lovely thing to happen at a sad time in our lives. The bad thing about Facebook is that everyone feels that they have to post every little perfect thing that happens in their lives.

It’s like a really bad annual Christmas letter than gets sent all year long. Remember the old Christmas letter? It’s the one you received once a year from that friend you haven’t talked to in a decade. Every year you’d receive

a four-page letter from her telling you about all the achievements her children made in the previous year. Johnny won the local science fair and his team won the baseball championship. Suzie became class president and is on the honor roll. You never hear about the time Johnny came home drunk or when Suzie got arrested for shoplifting.

It seems that Facebook has become the same as that annual Christmas letter. Everyone posts about their amazing trip abroad, their new boat, and their perfect grandchildren. Ya never hear about the car accident they caused, the epic fail in the school play, or the mortgage that’s not getting paid. I wonder just how many of those perfect Facebook posts are truth and how many are total fiction. Then there’s this whole thing about “likes.” It’s one thing if I “like” my friend’s funny post about the dog who drove the car, but it was totally disconcerting when I posted about a recent cancer surgery, and I received “likes” for the post. Really? Folks liked my cancer? I don’t know about you, but I guess I have more enemies than I thought who liked me more when I got cancer. Perhaps I can write fiction better than thought. think ’ll make my next post about how awesome cancer is. I’m betting I’ll get a bunch of “likes.” What do you think? MSN

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Science finds new way to stop a cold New research shows you can “one of the best presents ever. This stop a cold in its tracks if you take little jewel really works.” Many one simple step with a new device users say they have completely when you feel a cold coming on. stopped getting colds. Colds start when cold viruses People often use CopperZap for get in your nose. Viruses multiply prevention, before cold signs apfast. If you don’t stop them early, pear. Karen Gauci, who flies often they spread and cause misery. for her job, used to get colds after But scientists have found a quick way to kill a virus. Touch it with copper. Researchers at labs and universities agree, copper is “antimicrobial.” It kills microbes, such as viruses and bacteria, just by touch. That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyptians New research: Copper stops colds if used early. used copper to purify water and heal wounds. That’s crowded flights. Though skeptical, why Hippocrates used copper to she tried it several times a day on heal skin ulcers, and why Civil War travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen doctors used it to prevent infection flights and not a sniffle!” of battlefield wounds. They didn’t Businesswoman Rosaleen says know about viruses and bacteria, when people are sick around her but now we do. she uses CopperZap morning and Researchers say microbe cells night. “It saved me last holidays,” have a tiny internal electric charge she said. “The kids had colds going across the membrane surrounding round and round, but not me.” the cell. The high conductance of Some users say it also helps copper short-circuits this charge with sinuses. Attorney Donna and pops holes in the membrane. Blight had a 2-day sinus headache. This immediately stops the mi- When her CopperZap arrived, she crobe from reproducing and de- tried it. “I am shocked!” she said. stroys it in seconds. “My head cleared, no more headTests by the Environmental Pro- ache, no more congestion.” tection Agency (EPA) show that One man had suffered seasonal copper surfaces kill germs that sinus problem for years. It was so get on them. That way the next bad it ruined family vacations and person to touch that surface does even dinners out with friends. His not spread the germ. As a result of wife Judy bought CopperZaps for this new knowledge, some hospi- both of them. He was so skeptitals switched to copper for various cal he said, “Oh Judy, you are such “touch surfaces”, like faucets, be- a whack job!” But he finally tried drails, and doorknobs. This cut the it and, to his surprise, the copper spread of MRSA and other illness- cleared up his sinuses right away. es in those hospitals by over half, Judy and their daughter both said, and saved lives. “It has changed our lives!” The strong scientific evidence Some users say copper stops gave inventor Doug Cornell an nighttime stuffiness, too, if they idea. When he felt a cold coming use it just before bed. One man on he fashioned a smooth copper said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” probe and rubbed it gently in his Some users have recently tried nose for 60 seconds. it on cold sores at the first tingle in “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The the lip, and report complete succold went away completely.” It cess in preventing ugly outbreaks. worked again every time he felt a One family reports it has worked cold coming on. He reports he has to eliminate warts as well. never had a cold since. The handle is sculptured to fit He asked relatives and friends the hand and finely textured to to try it. They said it worked for improve contact. Tests show it them, too, every time. So he pat- kills germs on fingers to help you ented CopperZap™ and put it on stay well and not spread illness to the market. your family. Rubbing it gently on Soon hundreds of people had wounds, cuts, and abrasions can tried it and given feedback. Nearly reduce or stop infections. 100 percent said the copper stops Copper may even help stop flu their colds if used within 3 hours if used early and for several days. of the first sign. Even up to 2 days, In a lab test, scientists placed 25 if they still get the cold it is milder million live flu viruses on a Copperthan usual and they feel better. Zap. No viruses were found alive Users wrote things like, “It soon after. stopped my cold right away,” and The EPA says the natural color “Is it supposed to work that fast?” change of copper does not reduce “What a wonderful thing,” its ability to kill germs. wrote Physician’s Assistant Julie. CopperZap is made in the U.S. “Now I have this little magic wand, of pure copper. It carries a 90-day no more colds for me!” full money back guarantee and Pat McAllister, age 70, received costs $49.95 at or one for Christmas and called it toll-free 1-888-411-6114. (paid advertisement)



BY FLORENCE PAXTON The holiday season provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with family for some quality time, young and old. And what better way to connect with the little ones than through seek-and-find or coloring activities Thanks to Florence Paxton, you have one more trick in your pocket for entertaining and piquing the interest of the young ones around you. Thanks to all who participated in our Doodle Puzzle contest in the October/November 2017 issue. The winner of the $25 prize for


Doodle Puzzle

submitting the correct answers is Rebecca Orford of Missoula, Mont. A $25 cash prize is awarded from each issue of the Montana Senior News to the person who submits the winning answers from the previous issue. Please mail your entries for all contests to the Montana Senior News, 1985 McMannamy Draw, Kalispell 59901, or email to by January 15, 2018 for this edition. MSN Find the 20 items listed below, Then get out the crayons or markers, and have some fun!

. 2. . . . . . . . .

irthda ake alendar and ane hrist as ocks o ee u oughnuts uck l ire and ood ot hocolate

. Mice 2. istletoe . oinsettia . otica . anta oots . anta a . anta etter . now an . tick orse 2 . Reindeer




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Great Falls Community Concert Association Join us for our 88th Season 3 REDNECK TENORS Duck Dynasty meets Carnegie Hall November 9

RICHARD DOWLING Pianist featuring Scott Joplin Repertoire October 5

PAUL MCDERMAND Steel Drums, Marimba, Vibraphone with Guitar, Bass, and Drums April 6

FOREVER YOUNG Pop, Rock & Country Music of Your Youth January 25

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Shopping Online for the Holidays? CONSUMER REPORTS OFFERS TIPS FOR ENHANCED SECURITY By Teresa Ambord

Last year’s holiday shopping season brought about 57 percent of shoppers to their computers and smartphones to find deals. The convenience and cost savings of shopping online are enticing to us…and irresistible to the criminals who see this as their heyday. More shoppers looking to JOHNSON GLOSCHAT Funeral Home & Crematory

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avoid the crowds means more opportunity for thieves. That’s why Consumer Reports provided some steps to enhance the security of your online shopping. Here’s what they say, based on advice from Raymond Pucci, of the Mercator Advisory Group consulting firm. FIND OUT WHAT YOUR CREDIT CARD OFFERS IN TERMS OF EXTRA SECURITY. Credit cards offer security features that you can take advantage of, to greatly increase the safety of using your cards online. Before you shop, check with your card issuer to find out if you can get a temporary credit card number. The number is linked to your account, so when you log onto a merchant site and provide that temporary number, your transaction goes through. But the merchant and any hackers who may be scouring the merchant’s data can only see the temporary number. And that number will be useless to them. Check with your card issuers to see if this is available. Bank of America, for example, has a program called Bank of America ShopSafe. Citibank’s program is simply called Citi Virtual Account Numbers. You can also disable a card when you’re not using it, with an app on your smartphone. Ask your card issuer. Discover and Capital One allow this, and others may too. You can strengthen the security on your card by registering it with American Express SafeKey, MasterCard SecureCode, or erified by isa. After you register it, create a personal ID number that is known only to you. When you go, for example, to to use your card for online shopping, you’ll be asked to enter the code before you can proceed. USE A MOBILE WALLET. A mobile wallet such as Android Pay or Apple Pay is more secure than a card, because they use substitute numbers or tokens, rather than your real account numbers. Also, your smartphone adds

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protections of its own, such as a fingerprint reader. WHAT ABOUT PAYING WITH A BANK DEBIT CARD? Consumer Reports reminds us that if you use your debit card to pay for an online purchase and a data breach occurs, you may have just handed thieves the keys to the bank account that is tied to your debit card. Even though your deposits are protected from unauthorized withdrawals, your funds may be unavailable while the mess is being sorted out. On the other hand, credit cards have better consumer protections, as well as help you dispute transactions when merchants don’t come through as promised. Better idea: Buy a prepaid card. That prevents you from running up a credit balance, and if your card number is stolen, the loss is limited to the limit on the card. Be sure to register the card with the issuer, so you get added protection if it is hacked or stolen, and it gives you a list of what you purchased. Depending on the card, there may be a charge of a few dollars to buy it—for example, a MasterCard or American Express or Visa prepaid card—but the protection of using a prepaid card is worth it. Often around holiday times throughout the year, companies will waive the fee. If you shop online at a merchant such as Walmart, you can purchase a gift card for no fee, and use it for online shopping. USE FAMILIAR WEBSITES. on’t find shopping sites in a search engine. The results can be rigged to send you where you didn’t intend to go. Instead, stick to familiar sites where you can type the name in. Just beware, if you type in a site, and it looks different from what you expected, leave, and try again. Scammers deliberately misspell a name or use a different ending (for example, .net instead


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ALLOWING SITES TO KEEP YOUR NUMBER ON FILE: SHOULD YOU? always believed the answer was definitely no. ut according to Consumer Reports, doing that lets the merchant site protect you. How? They track your spending, and if an anomaly occurs, such as a sudden charge of $500 where you generally spend $25 or less, the merchant may be able to detect fraud. With a little extra precaution, you can have safe, online holiday shopping, avoid the crowds, and scoop up deals. Plan ahead, so you can take time to shop safely and protect your assets. MSN

How Digital Technology is Helping Patients Manage Chronic Pain newsfeed that is personalized to each user based on his or her pain diagnosis, as well as the opportunity to learn about treatment options, exercises, medications, and nutritional tips that may help improve quality of life. It also allows users to connect and share their treatment experiences and gain insights on how others have managed their pain. For more information and to download the app, visit Digitizing the traditional one-to-10 pain scale that physicians have relied on for decades to characterize patients’ pain is simplifying the way pain is tracked, to keep up with the 21st century. If you are suffering from chronic pain, talk to your doctor about new resources and treatment options that may be available. MSN



(StatePoint) Digital apps have long existed to help people lose weight or track exercise, and now, developers are providing new hightech ways for those living with chronic pain to track key measures of their conditions—providing a solution to one of the biggest challenges patients face. For Elizabeth Newman, a 57-year old Chicago native, chronic pain is a way of life and a challenge she shares with more than 100 million Americans. Newman’s chronic pain started after an accident that resulted in a herniated disk and nerve damage that affects her legs and arm. She also has seven fused vertebrae, a spinal surgery that more than 400,000 Americans have every year. While millions of Americans rely on medications such as opioids to treat their chronic pain, Newman has started using a new mobile app to help tackle some of the complexities of living with chronic pain. The app and website Newman recently discovered is called PainScale, which offers digital tools that modernize how we understand and communicate about pain. The app gives users an opportunity to track key measures, such as pain levels, medication use, treatments, and activity levels. It also provides general information about treatment options and how to connect with a pain specialist in the area. Patients can share information from the app with their physicians, who may decide to use the information to tailor a treatment plan and assess what may not be working with their current approach. “Using PainScale has motivated me to track my pain more consistently, which gives my doctor a better understanding of what I am experiencing, rather than relying strictly on memory. That helps us connect in how we manage it,” said Newman. “Every day I read articles on the app and bookmark those that find helpful so that can stay up-to-date on information about my condition and learn about new approaches.” The free app, which was developed with support from Boston Scientific, provides a range of tools, including a customized daily

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Traveling With Technology BY BOB DELAURENTIS Q. What do you think of using a service like Airbnb or HomeAway instead of a hotel? A. My family has used various websites to find daily rental lodging for over years. When everything goes according to plan, they are fantastic. But a bad experience can ruin your vacation. We have experienced both kinds, on multiple occasions. There is a huge inventory of rooms, apartments, and houses available for rent online. They are offered by different types of businesses—everything from individuals with a spare room to property management companies that handle dozens of homes. Searches in any popular city will present a lush inventory

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of beautiful choices, lodging that makes all but the most expensive hotels pale in comparison. There are numerous advantages, including a wide variety of choices and price points. My favorite is the ability to experience another city like a full-time resident. The main disadvantages are reliability and an effective Plan B. There is usually an opportunity to change to a different room in a hotel, but if there is a problem with a daily rental upon arrival, alternatives are often non-existent. Be extra cautious if the hotels near your destination are full, or if you expect to arrive after dusk. We tend to stick with hotels when a good Plan B seems out of reach, like a trip with non-refundable airfare or a cabin at the top of a mountain. s there n thin s e ifi sh be on the lookout for when using rental sites online? A. Some cities prohibit daily rentals. Yet listing services still present dozens of choices in these cities. So I always start by Googling the question: does the local community welcome short-term rentals? If the answer is no, I look elsewhere for lodging. When these services were new, restrictions were rarely a problem. But regulations are common now. If you are asked to pretend you are a friend of the owner, that is a red-flag warning. When an owner or property manager

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routinely skirts local restrictions, what makes you think they will deal fairly with you? Regardless if it’s the city, the county, or the building’s manager, I stay clear of properties that operate on the edge of legality. If there is any doubt, ask the contact person before the transaction is final. Also watch out for side contracts. Online listing services are supposed to collect the money and act as an intermediary. Indeed, most will not accept a reservation request without payment up front. But an owner might cancel the request, then respond directly with a rental agreement and a request for your credit card information. If you take that route, the listing service is bypassed completely, and you are dependent entirely on the kindness of a stranger. The bottom line is that these types of transactions are very lightly regulated and rarely enforced. Renters have very little recourse when they encounter fraudulent owners. Online reviews are not as reliable as they may seem. A few other tips that can help. Look for the same properties on different listing services. Sometimes prices or details vary between competing services. Learn how to spot the difference between an accurate representation and photographic trickery. It is easy to make that shoreline three blocks away fill an apartment’s front window. Get the address as soon as you can, and check the satellite view in your maps app. My sense is that avoiding hotels was easier five years ago, and problems are becoming more frequent as more people discover daily rentals. But under the right circumstances, great adventures can still be found. Q. How do you keep your phone’s battery going when you travel? A. Travel can always bring unexpected challenges, and challenges are best handled with a fresh battery. I have become completely dependent on my phone while traveling for schedules, navigation, and e-tickets. As a result, have fallen in love with the fiendishly clever Away carry-on. It is a four-wheel suitcase with an internal battery large enough to charge other devices. The battery is removable if the bag is checked. Two standard USB connectors are accessible under the handle atop the case, perfect for refueling your gadgets while waiting at the gate. Check them out at WANDER THE WEB—HERE ARE MY PICKS FOR SOME WORTHWHILE BROWSING THIS MONTH: Travel Checklist: The U.S. Department of State has a checklist to help prepare for international travel, although it’s useful for any sort of travel. Do not overlook the downloadable PDF card and the section for older

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS travelers. Airport Directory: Gateguru is a free app for iPhone, Android, and Windows that contains terminal maps, directories, and airport amenities. Handy for navigating the maze from the curb to the gate, and vice versa. The quality varies by airport, but it is worth some space on your phone. Create an account if you want to save itineraries and favorites. Educational Adventures: If you crave travel but seek a different kind experience, Road Scholar has been creating unique travel adventures



since 1975. Several of my friends and family have attended Road Scholar trips, and every one returns home brimming with enthusiasm for the program. Most have taken multiple trips. If you enjoy learning and discovering new places, you need to explore Road Scholar.


Bob can be contacted with your questions and comments at

Fun Tech Gift Ideas for Kids GAMING SYSTEMS Shopping for a gaming console? Seek out family-friendly options that offer opportunities for age-appropriate or educational gaming. Some consoles even provide parental controls, so monitoring use is easy. CAMERA FUN Little cinematographers and videographers may enjoy the Kidizoom Action Cam 180, a 180-degree rotatable camera that takes photos and videos with fun features, like slow- and fast-motion. It comes with accessories for mounting to a bike, skateboard, and more to take action shots. The all-weather, water-resistant case allows for use up to six feet underwater, perfect for swimming and splashing. For even more fun, kids can play one of three included games. DRONES ids have always loved flying toys, and with the technological advancements in drones, they can be had at all price points with a wide variety of capabilities. For beginners, you’ll want to consider durable drones with easy controls. Just be sure to look into local

rules and regulations, to be sure you’re flying in appropriate places that aren’t restricted. HANDHELD SMART DEVICES With quality content and robust features similar to those found in parents’ smartphones, KidiBuzz lets children message over Wi-Fi to a parent-approved contact list. They can also push the talk button and send quick voice messages. Through the kid-safe web browser, users can visit popular, pre-approved websites and can also download Android apps. It’s also a multimedia player for listening to music and watching videos. Kids can explore silly stamps, frames, and photo effects and use them to capture pictures and selfies or make their own videos with the 180-degree rotating camera. The device includes more than 40 learning games and apps, and its bumper and shatter-safe screen means kids can take it virtually anywhere. Make this holiday season the most exciting one yet for kids, with great new tech gear that engages, informs, and entertains. MSN

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IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Jitterbug is owned by GreatCall, Inc.Your invoices will come from GreatCall. 1Monthly fees do not include government taxes or assessment surcharges and are subject to change. Plans and services may require purchase of a Jitterbug Flip and a one-time setup fee of $35. Coverage is not available everywhere. 5Star or 9-1-1 calls can only be made when cellular service is available. 5Star Service will be able to track an approximate location when your device is turned on, but we cannot guarantee an exact location. 2We will refund the full price of the Jitterbug phone and the activation fee (or setup fee) if it is returned within 30 days of purchase in like-new condition.We will also refund your first monthly service charge if you have less than 30 minutes of usage. If you have more than 30 minutes of usage, a per minute charge of 35 cents will be deducted from your refund for each minute over 30 minutes.You will be charged a $10 restocking fee. The shipping charges are not refundable. There are no additional fees to call GreatCall’s U.S.-based customer service. However, for calls to a Personal Operator in which a service is completed, you will be charged 99 cents per call, and minutes will be deducted from your monthly rate plan balance equal to the length of the call and any call connected by the Personal Operator. Jitterbug, GreatCall and 5Star are registered trademarks of GreatCall, Inc. Copyright ©2017 GreatCall, Inc. ©2017 firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc.





Montana’s Nicknames The “Land of the Shining Mountains” was a name describing the area by Indian tribes and recorded by French explorer, Pierre La Vérendrye. Native Tribes also referred to the Rocky Mountains as “The Montanans are proud of their state, and they have many nicknames Shining” because of the snow-capped mountains. In 1895, “Land that exemplify that pride. of the Shining ountains” was first used in a promotional booklet Most of us know that the state was early on named the “Treasure published by the Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry. State” because Montana produced precious metals, such as copper, The motto, “Montana: High Wide and Handsome,” was used as gold, and silver. This popular name adorned Montana’s vehicular the title of Joseph Kinsey Howard’s history book published in 1943, license plates from 1950 to 1966. In 2010 the nickname, “Treasure although he did not create the phrase. It had been State” was reintroduced to license plates. Along the used earlier by the Montana Highway Department same vein is the less common nickname, “Bonanza publicity brochure and possibly coined by C. B. State.” It is said that the nickname was coined by Glasscock, who wrote in his 1935 book, War of the Judge John Wasson Eddy, who was referring to the Copper Kings, that “Life in Butte was high, wide and many bonanza mines in the state at the time. occasionally handsome.” In 1947, A. B. Guthrie, Jr., from Choteau, pub“The Last Best Place” is a recent nickname for lished his first ma or book with a setting in the West. Montana. It is attributed to writer William Kittredge. It was titled The Big Sky, a reference to looking up and He gave the title to Montana. The Montana Historical seeing what seemed like an unobstructed sky going Society used the phrase as the title of an anthology on forever. Sinking to the inner core of all of those of Montana writers, published in 1988 and edited by who heard the nickname, Montanans loved calling William Kittredge and Annick Smith. In 2002, a busithe state the “Big Sky Country.” ness man who had a luxury guest ranch in Montana In 1962, Guthrie gave the Montana Highway THE NICKNAME “BIG SKY COUNTRY” IS FOUND ON THE US QUARTER THAT COMMEMORATES sought to have sole rights to the phrase. In response Department permission to use the name in its MONTANA. to an uproar from Montana citizens and lawsuits, promotions. The term was used on Montana license PHOTO BY SUZANNE WARING Senate and House committees approved language in plates from 1967 to 1976. In 1976 the term on the a Department of Commerce appropriations bill that plates was shortened to “Big Sky.” To its citizens, forbade the registering or enforcing of a trademark of the phrase. Montana has been the Big Sky Country every since. Now anyone can use it. Kittredge said his favorite use was a sign in a Several other authors took up a name variation in their book titles cemetery near Seeley Lake that is called, “The Last Best Place.” that also became best sellers. Ivan Doig authored a popular book, titled A rarely-heard nickname, “Stubbed-Toe State,” was thought to This House of Sky, and Kirby Larson penned the Newberry Honor Book, be in relationship to the rugged terrain of the state’s western region. Hattie Big Sky. The ickname first appeared in the World Almanac in 1922. BY SUZANNE WARING


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DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS Two of the country’s major water systems originate in Montana’s Rocky Mountains: the Columbia and the Missouri, so the state naturally came by the nickname: “The Headwaters State.” Other more recent mottos have been “EZ 2 LUV,” “Montana—Unspoiled, Unforgettable,” “The 406” in reference to the statewide telephone area code, and “Montana—Naturally Inviting.”


We’re not finished coining nicknames for our expansive, varied state that is ever reinventing itself. With a million words in the English language, we can easily choose new words that best describe Montana in the 21st Century. MSN A multifaceted interest in Montana people and their communities keeps Suzanne Waring digging for stories in old newspapers and books.

Snow-eating Chinooks Blast Warmth in Dead of Winter


MAKING STORIES STICK WHEN SNOW DOESN’T BY ELIZABETH LARCH The children (about 40 of them, all second graders , sat in a group on the floor inside one of Glacier National Park’s interpretive centers. It was the dead of winter, but it didn’t matter to them, because they were on a field trip. They had just gotten inside from a snowshoe hike and were now listening to a ranger read a story from a picture book, entitled The Bear that Stole the Chinook. The Chinooks, it was explained, are warm winds that often herald the coming of springtime by warming the air. The story, and the song on the CD that accompanied it, was a retelling of a Native American legend surrounding a greedy bear who wanted to hoard the warmth of the wind for himself. Perhaps it was stories like this one that inspired the nickname that stuck for the Chinooks—we call them the snow eaters today. Once these Montana students reach the eighth grade, they’ll read about the Chinook winds again in their required textbook— Montana: Stories of The Land—relearning the geography they had forgotten from third grade. Instead of splitting Montana into East and West, as elementary texts and teachers do, this book draws a third line and gives Montana a Central section, a place between the mountains and the plains—a “Chinook corridor”—where the warm winds keep the weather milder than in the Rocky Mountains to the east or the Great Plains to the west. Chinooks are a formidable force of nature, affecting parts of the Northern U.S. and Canada. According to, they cause extreme temperature changes and melt


snow extremely quickly, much faster than would the average spring day. They are one of the few extreme weather phenomena in the mountainous inland northern regions. Relatively free of tornadoes and unaffected by hurricanes, the Northern Rocky Mountains and adjoining plains to the east are generally known for their hot summers and long, cold winters, not their bizarre meteorological happenings. But Chinooks are an exception, weather events in the region worth talking about. They make their way into storybooks and textbooks, because seasons in the North typically move slowly. Without the aid of a Chinook, winter melts very gradually into spring. Snow remains on the hilltops in April, keeping the water cold and the air chilly. Spring slowly becomes greener before eventually morphing into summer, which gradually turns to fall. Then a long wait for winter begins. But the Chinook induces sudden change, thawing in a matter of hours the snow that would typically take all of February to melt. Suddenly, a small spring emerges—over the course of a couple of hours rather than months. This is why second graders read about it in a storybook and why eighth graders learn about it in their geography texts. The Chinooks were valuable to the indigenous people of the Northern Rockies and Northwestern plains, who felt inspired to create elaborate legends about these snow-eating winds. And they are still valuable today— valuable enough to captivate an audience of 40, squirming second graders in the dead of winter. MSN





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High-Tech Craftsmanship Draws Men to Embroidery creating something, I’m having fun.” Computerized sewing machines sold today do way more than stitch a straight line or create a button hole. High-end models (TNS) After Al Moeller’s wife bought an pack technology with digital screens, tool embroidery sewing machine a few years attachments and software-backed design opago, he peeked over her shoulder to see tions. The gadgetry how it worked. is part of the appeal, A 72-year-old say some men in the woodworker, area who have taken Moeller was inup the hobby both stantly hooked. for relaxation and “I said, ‘That craftsmanship. looks like fun,’” The machines can said Moeller, who range in cost from soon started dab$2,600 to $14,000 bling with his own for a commercial sewing projects. quality embroidery “Embroidery mamachine. chines have come Wendell Harrell, a long way because P H O T O B Y D I G I T A L P H O T O N U T , 58, took up the hobBIGSTOCK of technology.” by about a year and a “It’s like you’re half ago during a brief period of unemployan engineer with fabric. You’ve got to line it ment. He’d done a little sewing in his past up and square it up, make sure you have the for the drapery business. After a two-day right amount of fabric. But you pick out your Spokane seminar in 2014 to learn more about own colors, so you’re the artist.” the craft, he traded in a newly purchased He took sewing classes in Spokane Valley, during the month of December embroidery machine for a high-end Bernina Wash., and after nearly taking over the sewing machine. nook at home, he bought his own machine. “I got the Bentley,” he joked. “My new“I’ve been working on a farm country * est machine is just over a year old. I have 6 quilt, and there’s 27,000 to 38,000 stitches million stitches on it already, so that’s how per block,” Moeller said. “As long as I’m much embroidery I’ve done.” *Excludes white ticket items He’s made lace Christmas ornaments, iPad bags for friends and monogrammed CARPET shirts, napkins and place mats. LAMINATE “Embroidery is becoming more mainVINYL WOOD stream,” Harrell said. “Everyone loves stuff CERAMIC that’s monogrammed or personalized, so it’s 401 3rd Avenue South AREA RUGS becoming very popular. It used to be someOpen Wed–Sat 10–5 thing that only you could get commercially, Merry and now it’s coming to the home market. It’s 406-782-8787 • Butte Christmas! Donations ene rea alls WC 820 S Montana St • fun. For family and friends, it makes gifts that are personal.” He spent so much time at the Quilting Bee for classes and to help others for free, the store owners decided to hire him to work part-time in 2014. Cusick, Wash., resident Larry Brown began sewing and embroidery projects about 15 years ago as an activity he could do with his to a world where friends share life in exciting new ways, everyday! wife, Pam. Now 79, he has created designs ranging from fishing-themed uilts to an Retirement is a time to look forward to, and at Whitefish Manor you have the freedom to choose. Enjoy the apron he designed for a neighbor. outdoor activities Whitefish is famous for: a challenging 36-hole golf course; fine fishing, boating and Brown still takes advanced machine emwater skiing; a winter wonderland including, Big Mountain and cross-country skiing; and of course, spectacular Glacier National Park, only 32 miles from your doorstep. Grocery and other shopping options broidery classes to learn greater details for lie only a short distance away and you’re only one mile from downtown and Whitefish Mall. computer-aided design and software use. “One of the neighbors asked me to make a So much of what life is about lies waiting for you. Maybe it’s finally time you make a change for the better. couple of aprons for him, and a couple turned Welcome to retirement living at its absolute best. into nearly a dozen; I did the design from scratch,” rown said. find it intellectually challenging. To sew the doggone seams straight so all the points meet where they need to, yeah, that’s a challenge.” Eligibility Requirements Harrell said embroidery machines can Whitefish Manor Head of household. 62 years of age or older or take a hoop attachment, similar to what persons with disabilities who require the features of 1345 E. 7th St an accessible unit. artisans use when hand-embroidering or Whitefish hand-quilting. We are a non-smoking facility 406-862-6719 “The machine moves the hoop, as the maNon-Discrimination TTY 711 or chine is stitching; that’s how you get design,” You must meet eligibiliy and income guidelines. 1-800-253-4091 he said. t’s definitely a craft because you Rent is based on 30% of annual income. have to have the right tools, batting, fabric, BY TREVA LIND, THE SPOKESMANREVIEW (SPOKANE, WASH.)


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also a stabilizer or backing. There’s software, but most of the machines will allow you to manipulate the design to enlarge it or to move in a multidirectional way.” Leo Collins, 78, approaches his projects with an artist’s eye. The Spokane resident started sewing about 20 years ago after retiring, and he creates his own designs, often based on another hobby he enjoys, photography. One appliqued wall-hanging depicts a 1937 Chevy truck he saw and photographed in a Green luff field. He makes a design for the fabric wall-hangings from enlarged photocopies of pictures he’s taken. He selects fabric colors and sometimes applies a dry-brush technique to paint on the fabrics. “I make art quilts,” said Collins, who also has taken several lessons at the north Spokane store, Sew Uniquely You. “I used to help out my mother when I was a kid with


her sewing machine, so when I got ready to retire, I bought a machine.” His wife, Michal Collins, said the hobby also gives him something to do when he isn’t golfing. She doesn’t en oy sewing, but she appreciates her husband’s projects adorning their walls. “He uses his regular sewing machine to do some embroidery,” she said. “He’s done old trucks and wagon wheels. He can spend hours.” Brown also has used the craft to embroider a military cap, and he’s made intricate star-shaped spiral designs without modern software. “I’m also an ex-teacher of mathematics, and just watching the geometry develop is interesting,” he said. “I don’t know if people realize how much serious geometry is involved.”


A neighbor once teased Brown about his newfound hobby, until seeing a finished product. “He said he’d really rather see me on the firing range,” rown said. Then when I brought him his quilt, he was impressed. Later, when we went to the firing range, he said, ‘Yeah, you better stick with quilting.’” MSN

Love in a Local Climate BY MISS NORA Dear Miss Nora: I’m in love with my nextr nei h r here fin s i it h e known this man for ages and always felt a sort of connection with him but kept a dignifie ist n e hi e his i e s i e n convalescing from one illness after another. I was supportive after she passed away and always let Mr. Neighbor know that I cared. But, just lately, I’ve been making myself more available to him and I’m almost certain that he feels the same way. It’s been too long to calculate since I’ve had a romantic interest (I’ve been a widow for 10 years), and I’m not sure of the rules for this sort of thing. Would it be wrong if I invited Mr. Neighbor over for dinner? Do women do that sort of thing nowadays, or should I wait patiently for him to ask me? Really Hopeful in Houston Dear, Really: There are so many directions that this scenario can go in. So, let’s unwrap this situation a little before you embark on a plan of attack. First, you make no mention of other family members—his or yours. The passing of a parent is always a sensitive subject for children of the deceased when the other parent moves on “too quickly” for their liking. One of the few complications of romance in our twilight years is the presence of defensive offspring. Adult children can be fiercely protective and deliberately obstructive—and nothing spoils a potential romance like a brood’s blockade. Second, you’re a dash vague when it comes to why you perceive that your neighbor feels the same way as you. Be forewarned: sometimes graciousness and gratitude can give the impression of interest. I fear this could be the case here particularly, as you say, you’ve been out of the dating game for a while and your radar for such things might well be a bit skewed. I caution you to gently test the waters before you commit to an all-out assault. Leave yourself room to discreetly withdraw from circumstances should you become aware that you are mistaken about your neighbor’s level of interest. I don’t know about you, but I’d be mortified to offer my affections only to have them rejected by someone I’m then forced to wave a cordial good day to on a regular basis.

Which brings me to my last point. You live right next door to your Romeo. If he isn’t interested—just chivalrous—or if this is what you thought, but his children are indeed hostile to the idea and spoil all possibilities, or he returns your attentions, but you then realize too late that without the spice of clandestine goings on, he isn’t your cup of tea after all, what then? It’s all well and good to be liberated or unconventional, and I’m all about striking while the iron’s hot—especially since I’m lucky these days if my iron even gets warm —and granted, at our age, we need little else in the way of motivation than to want to do a thing— but have a game plan if this goes the way of the Beanie Baby (a reasonable gamble but flawed in e ecution . To conclude, don’t be discouraged if this all comes to nothing. Try again, but perhaps Elderly or Disabled next time keep a little Needing Applications For Waiting distance between you and your amour—at 1 and 2 Bedroom Units least a zip code or two.


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Fluffy Critters


Winter Bird Feeding

BY LORI ROSE Add some color, movement, and fun to your dreary winter landscape. Put up a bird feeder! You’ll be amazed at how many birds will appreciate your kindness, and you’ll wonder where they all came from. So find a bird identification book and follow these tips to get started. Birds are most likely to eat where they feel safe. Bird feeders should be sited a few yards from, but within a short flight of trees and shrubs. The birds will wait for their turn to eat there and feel protected from predators. t’s a delight to see them fly from shrub to feeder to tree and back again. Of course, the

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best position for a bird feeder is one where you can watch the birds from a window. Ground-level feeding is the easiest— simply scatter a nice bird food mix on the ground and wait. If your mix does not have sunflower seeds, squirrels should leave most of it alone. Look for mourning doves, sparrows, and juncos eating on the ground Cardinals, finches, and jays prefer to eat a bit higher. There are many designs of bird table to choose from, or make your own from plywood with a small rim around the edge to hold the bird food. Attach it to a pole, fence post, or mailbox post. Drill a hole for a twig into the table for birds to perch on while feeding. You can even hang additional feeders from hooks around the edge. On this feeder you can offer millet, sunflower seed, cracked corn, and peanuts.

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Spread seed out so it is also accessible to ground-feeding birds—they enjoy platform feeders too. anging feeders will attract finches, chickadees, sparrows, and the adorable titmouse. When choosing food for hanging feeders, remember that wild birds are selective in their food choices. Millet and black oil sunflower are attractive to a great variety of birds. Small birds like goldfinches love thistle. Check the content of any seed mi es you buy, as fillers like milo and rapeseed will go to waste because songbirds won’t eat them. Some popular mixed-seed feeders are tube feeders, with several ports equipped with perches, and hopper feeders—a seed bin with a tray attached for the birds to feed from Suet feeders offer suet, or animal fat, as a high-energy food for insect-eating birds like downy and hairy woodpeckers, flickers, chickadees, and nuthatches. Suet is especially important in winter when insects are less available for these birds. You can pick up suet from the butcher, but commercially-prepared cakes, often with seeds, fruit, and nuts added, are easier to handle and a lot less messy. Hang a suet feeder from a platform feeder, shepherd’s crook, or tree. Watch these birds hang upside down and sideways while they eat. Try smearing some suet or even peanut butter on tree trunks. It’s great fun to watch them climb the tree trunks—sometimes they even climb down head first. t can take time for these birds to find your suet feeder, so be patient. It’s worth the wait. Small window feeders give you a chance to observe wild birds at close range. Window feeders are usually small and lightweight and attach to the window with suction cups or hooks. They are easy to fill you may not even need to go outside—and you can choose which birds you’d like to lure by what kind seed or other treat you offer. Some birds cannot see windows and can fly right into them and knock themselves out. If you use a window feeder on a window that does not have grids, use spray “snow” or plastic window clings to make the window more visible. Having wild birds in our yards bring us the beauty and activity that we need so badly when cabin fever sets in. Feed the birds often in late winter and early spring, when natural seed and insect sources are depleted. This will help the birds to get ready for nesting in the spring, and they will already enjoy coming to your garden. MSN ori Rose is a Temple ni ersity Certi ed aster Home Gardener and member of the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. She has gardened since childhood and has been writing about gardening for more than 15 years.




Assistance Dogs Provide Help and Love doing, like carrying or retrieving items, picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, assisting with dressing and undressing, helping with balance, household chores, and more. GUIDE DOGS For the blind and visually impaired, guide dogs help their owner get around safely by avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, negotiating traffic and more. HEARING DOGS For those who are deaf or hearing impaired, hearing dogs can alert their owner to specific sounds, such as ringing telephones, doorbells, alarm clocks, microwave or oven timers, smoke alarms, approaching sirens, crying babies, or someone calling out their name. SEIZURE ALERT/RESPONSE DOGS For people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, these dogs can recognize the signs that their owner is going to have a seizure and provide them with advance warning, so he or she can get to a safe place or take medication to prevent the seizure or lessen its severity. They are also trained to retrieve medications and use a pre-programmed phone to call for help. These dogs can also be trained to help people with diabetes, panic attacks, and various other conditions. FINDING A DOG If your sister is interested in getting a service dog, contact some assistance dog training programs. To find them, Assistance Dogs International provides a listing of around 65 US programs on their website, which you can

access at After you locate a few, you’ll need to either visit their website or call them to find out the types of training dogs they offer, the areas they serve, if they have a waiting list, and what upfront costs will be involved. Some groups offer dogs for free, some ask for donations, and some charge thousands of dollars. To get an assistance dog, your sister will need to show proof of her disability, which her physician can provide, and she’ll have to complete an application and go through an interview process. She will also need to go and stay at the training facility for a week or two, so she can get familiar with her dog and get training on how to handle it. It’s also important to understand that assistance dogs are not for everybody. They require time, money, and care that your sister or some other friend or family member must be able and willing to provide. MSN Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.

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Dear Savvy Senior What can you tell me about assistance dogs for people with disabilities? My sister, who’s 58, has multiple sclerosis, and I’m wondering if an assistance dog could help make her life a little easier. Inquiring Sister Dear Inquiring, For people with disabilities and even medical conditions, assistant dogs can be fantastic help, not to mention they provide great companionship and an invaluable sense of security. Here’s what you and your sister should know. While most people are familiar with guide dogs that help people who are blind or visually impaired, a variety of assistance dogs are also trained to help people with physical disabilities, hearing loss, and various medical conditions. Unlike most pets, assistance dogs are highly trained canine specialists—often golden and labrador retrievers, and German shepherds—that know approximately 40 to 50 commands, are amazingly well-behaved and calm, and are permitted to go anywhere the public is allowed. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of assistance dogs and what they can help with. SERVICE DOGS These dogs are specially trained to help people with physical disabilities due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, chronic arthritis, and many other disabling conditions. They help by performing tasks their owner cannot do or has trouble




Should You Get Another Dog? BY WINA STURGEON, ADVENTURE SPORTS WEEKLY (TNS) It happens to all dog lovers as they get older. Your frisky pup that used to romp over hiking trails with you and run through tall grass starts slowing down. Eventually, your beloved dog either dies of old age and illness or must be euthanized to end their pain. After a while, maybe years, you may start missing the presence of a dog in your life. But now you are older, and perhaps slowing down yourself. Should you get another dog at this time in your life? It’s a good question and one that deserves a lot of careful thought. The first uestion to consider is if you have the energy to look after a young dog. Think about that for a while. Then ask yourself other important questions. Do you have a fenced yard where your dog can run and play? If not, are you going to want to walk your new dog every day, or drive them to a nearby dog park where they can socialize? Do you actually have time for a new dog in your life? Is there someone

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who will look after your pooch and allow it to live its natural life span if something happens to you? What exactly will you want done with your furry friend if something happens to you? Remember, most dogs only live about one-seventh as long as humans. According to online research, that’s usually between 10 and 13 years. Small dogs live longer than big dogs like Labradors and German

shepherds. Let’s say you’re 60, and very active for your age, and you believe you could handle that cute little puppy being offered for sale. The only way that would be true is if you had little else going on in your life. You may have forgotten how much time and commitment a puppy takes to train. When you were in your 20s and 30s, you may have had both the time and the energy to adopt and train a very young dog. It may have also then been a family dog, so you weren’t stuck with being the only caretaker. But dogs are part of everyday life when you yourself are young. You may take them over to friend’s houses, friends who are in their family years and will usually welcome your well-behaved pooch. When you’re 50 or older, your friends in that age group may not want dog hair or dog damage in their homes, so you may not be able to take your canine sidekick with you when you go to visit. Will your new dog be happy to be locked up in the house while you spend the day working and the evening socializing? Should you decide that you really do want another dog in your life, the best thing you can do is to give an older, already housebroken dog, another chance at a forever home. Look for your new dog at the Humane Society or another animal shelter. The staff will know whether a particular pre-owned dog is suitable for an older owner. An older and already trained dog will allow you to have the dog presence that you want, without having to start all over with a mischievous puppy. An older dog will appreciate the fact that you chose it, so it could get out of the shelter and go home with you. MSN Wina Sturgeon is the author of “The love of a shorter lived species,” which tells the story of her o n dog, Ar en. he is an acti e 55 based in alt a e City, ho o ers news on the science of anti-aging and staying youthful at: adventuresportsweekly. com. She skates, bikes and lifts weights to stay in shape.

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Review of Love and Other Consolation Prizes JAMIE FORD; BALLANTINE BOOKS (2017) BY AARON PARRETT Jamie Ford hit the literary scene in a big way in 2009 with his book The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which became a New York Times Bestseller and was optioned for ollywood rumor is that the film is entering

climactic scene that explores the many ways Even more fascinating is the milieu into that love and friendship can affects us. “She which Ford sets his protagonist, the enigmatwas beginning to reframe her life—their life. ic Ernest Young. Having been sent from his It was a work in progress, but the image was native China alone by a starving mother to the coming together,” our narrator explains, US, “his mother must have known that the capturing an insight about the way life has end of the world was near—when they saw to work for all of us. MSN the starving fishermen hauling in their nets, filled with the bodies of the dead.” A few months later, after a long and horrific ourney aboard a ship of literal sorrows, he lands in Seattle where he finds refuge of a sorts in a Christian orphanage governed by a strict Prohibitionist. She concocts the idea to raffle off a child to a good home,” but her questionable ambition is derailed by a madam who needs a custodial assistant at her house of prostitution in Seattle’s tenderloin district. She wins the raffle and takes the child to her house of ill repute. CAPITAL TRANSIT The experience turns out to be largely M–F Except Holidays positive for the boy, who grows to maturity Office Hours: 8am–12pm & 1pm–5pm working for the house as a custodian and Origin to Destination: 6:30am–5:30pm chauffeur. It turns out that many of the girls EAST VALLEY HELENA RED/BLUE ROUTES employed there are orphans themselves, 7am–11am and as outcasts from society, the clan of 7am–6pm 1pm–5pm figures living at the house form a sort of ad hoc, but sincere and loving family, and Ford 1415 NORTH MONTANA AVE | 406.447.8080 RIDETHECAPITALT.ORG | WHEEL CHAIR ACCESSIBLE shows that familial love and the binds of unassailable friendship can arise in the most unlikely places. The novel spans a period from the notoNappy Katz rious era of Seattle vice Studies show that companion animals provide (early 1900s) to the many health benefits for older people. Because senior pets are sometimes difficult to place, it’s a second World’s Fair win-win for both. (1962) that gave the

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production under the auspices of George Takei). His next book, Songs of Willow Frost (2013) also hit the shelves with great reviews and eager anticipation from fans, but it is his latest book, Love and Other Consolation Prizes (2017) that I predict will ensure his entry into the canon of great American Literature. For starters, the story is unlike anything you’ve probably ever read, even though the kernel of the plot is based on a true story: at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1909, a little orphan boy named Ernest—as in this novel—was raffled off in a drawing. Yes, you read that right. When Mr. Ford stumbled across that startling fact as he was doing research for what he thought might be his next novel, he knew he had to write about it. It helped that no one seemed to know whatever happened to that raffled child, so he felt free to weave a story that is inspiring and heartbreaking by turns—and completely plausible.

world Seattle’s most famous landmark, the Space Needle. Consequently, Ford sets the penultimate scene in the rotating restaurant atop that landmark, deftly weaving together the strains of his story in a


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The Best Song Ever Written? BY RANDAL C. HILL The sun is shining/the grass is green/The orange and palm trees sway/ There’s never been such a day/In Beverly Hills, L.A./But it’s December 24th/ And I am longing to be up north/I’m dreaming of a white Christmas… Recognize that? When Irving Berlin created “White Christmas,” he did so from the point of view of someone in southern California at Christmastime who was missing the New England holiday weather. Fans of the iconic Bing Crosby tune know the familiar chorus but usually not the rarely heard set-up verses that introduce the Christmas classic. Born Israel Beilin in Russia in 1888, Berlin became America’s pop-song poet laureate. Over the course of his 101 years he wrote an estimated 1,500 tunes, including the classics “God Bless America,” “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and “Easter Parade.” He could neither read nor write music, and he composed primarily on the black keys of his piano. When finished with a piece, Berlin would turn to his musical secretary, Helmy Kresa, to transcribe whatever he had created. Christmas wasn’t something that the Jewish artist grew up celebrating, having been born the son of a cantor whose first language was Yiddish. Once in America, his family viewed Christmas as more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. The seed of “White Christmas” may have been planted over the holiday season in 1937, when Berlin was separated from his family and

living in Beverly Hills while working on the movie Alexander’s Ragtime Band, a film based on his composition. Fueled by his usual all-night regimen of cigarettes and chewing gum, the lifelong insomniac’s “White Christmas” came to fruition on January 8, 1940. That Monday morning he hurried to his Manhattan office and immediately summoned Helmy, enthusiastically commanding, “I want you to take down a song I wrote over the weekend…Not only is it the best song I ever wrote, it’s the best song anybody ever wrote!” In the 14 years that he had worked for Berlin, Helmy had heard similar boasts many times and smiled, but kept silent as his boss seated himself at his office piano and began to play and sing. Helmy later remembered thinking that, by the time the tune was finished, he was, for the first time, in complete agreement with Berlin. Bing Crosby debuted “White Christmas” on Christmas Day of 1941 on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall. He recorded it on May 29, 1942, feeling unenthusiastic about such a work with an unorthodox melody, a melancholy and old-fashioned setting, and simplistic lyric lines that used a mere 54 words. Crosby spent a mere 18 minutes in the studio that day. “White Christmas” gave Der Bingle his 26th Number-One hit recording and became the most popular holiday song ever, selling over 100 million Decca copies to become his signature song. In 1947 Crosby rerecorded Berlin’s masterpiece, and this is the version best-known now. Why redo a classic? Simple. The original pressing masters had become worn out from five years of constant usage. MSN

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Dating Coach: Who Pa BY LISA COPELAND (TNS) Dear Lisa, Not sure about this dating rule and am hoping you can answer this question: Who sh r first te Liz Liz, The person who does the asking should offer to pay. If you are the one to ask a man out then be prepared to pick up the check ,although more then likely, he will do it. If he asks you, most likely he will pick up the check. My rule of thumb is to let the guy pick it up for the coffee date, the first, and the second date. After that, it’s ok to start offering to pay,

whether it’s a dinner out, a dinner you make, or popcorn at the movies. If he can afford it, he will say no, I’ll get it. But if he’s like most men these days, he’s been financially wiped out by his divorce. He will be grateful for your help, so the two of you can do more together should the relationship progresses. Dear Lisa, My date with a guy I met online went well. I wasn’t that keen on him but was willing to try a second date, since he seemed nice; so

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ays for the First Date? we swapped cell numbers. But he suddenly postponed our date the morning we were due to meet, citing work problems as his reason for canceling. He never got in touch again. Did I do something wrong? Bridget Bridget, You mentioned you weren’t that keen on this man but you were willing to give him a second chance. Men do seem to have this sixth sense about what we’re feeling about them. There is a good chance, he picked up on your hesitation and talked himself out of the date, fearing rejection by yet another woman. If you like a man and want to go out with him again, be sure to let him know how much you appreciate him arranging the date you’ve been on. During the date, encourage him with lots of uestions and smiles. e fun. e flirty. f

he brings up a second date, be enthusiastic and let him know you are looking forward to seeing him again. Dear Lisa, This really nice guy contacted me online about two weeks ago. He texts me and calls me but doesn’t seem to want to ask me out. Is there something I can do to move things along? Thanks, Cheryl Cheryl, I can remember men calling me on the phone and talking for hours and hours every night. And they never asked me out. I’d just listen to them ramble because I didn’t know any better. There are some men and women out there who are only interested in being your pen pal or phone pal. What you can do is say, “I love talking with

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you on the phone, but I’d really enjoy seeing you in person.” If he doesn’t get the a little more blunt about it, and say, “I feel being a pen pal or phone pal is not what I want in my life. I would enjoy meeting you. Do you feel that’s possible?” If he says YES, but doesn’t arrange a time and place, move on, unless this is the type of relationship you want. Lisa Copeland, “The Dating Coach Who Makes Dating Fun and Easier after 50!” Find out more at




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There are few things more pleasurable in life than dining out. This becomes even more true as you age. find my dining out e periences to grow more pleasurable the older I get. Being a divorced male, I generally dine alone. There are times that my daughter and grandchildren will join me, and that enhances my enjoyment of the food and the surroundings. But for the most part, my experience in a restaurant is mine and mine alone and I make certain I enjoy it to the hilt. One thing I enjoy about restaurant dining is the fact that you are surrounded by strangers. I happen to be a talker and I have developed a perfect opener for a conversation. After I am seated at my favorite table, I will select a couple or a three or foursome sitting at a nearby table. Then I’ll lean over and say in a conspiratorial whisper to one of the people, “Whatever you do, don’t let him (or her) stick you with the bill.” That always draws a smile or outright laughter. I said this to a woman who was celebrating her 90th birthday with her six grandchildren in Albuquerque, N.M. She caught on to the joke and whispered back loud enough for

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all to hear, “But I’m the only one with an unexpired credit card.” People love a good joke and most of them enjoy smiling. I wear a black Stetson and sometimes when a man wearing a hat enters the restaurant and sits next to me, I will say, “Congratulations.”

He will look at me and say, “For what?” I’ll respond, “When I came into this restaurant, I thought I had the coolest hat in the place. Then you had to walk in.” That will bring smiles and it opens the conversation so we can find out more about one another. I like good service in a restaurant. When a server does an exceptional job of serving me, I will call them aside, compliment them and ask for the name of their supervisor. I will let the server know I am pleased with his or her services and want to let the supervisor know. That always results in even better service – especially when I add a tip. One of my tricks of getting management involved occurs when I enter a new restaurant. I will ask the manager, “On a scale of one to 10, how good is your coffee?” (or steak or meatloaf or whatever it is I intend to order). The person will give me a number. I will respond. “Okay, I’ll take your word for it. But if it isn’t half as good as you claim it is, as soon as my attorney gets out of jail, you could be in real trouble.” When the laughter dies down, I’ll quickly add, “But don’t worry. He’s a terrible attorney and he’s never won a case yet.” The next time you dine out, try some of these smile-grabbers yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results. MSN




The Lost Art of the Western Supper Club

BY AARON PARRETT Driving with my folks in the 1970s to dine at the Seven-Up Ranch Supper Club in Lincoln, Mont., was a big event when I was a kid. I didn’t realize it then, but the quaint décor and odd culinary touches—breadsticks with salads instead of croutons, for example, or a garnish tray that included pickled beets— were essential features of a rural phenomenon known as “supper club cuisine.” Sadly, the Seven-Up burned when I was a teenager, and by then my tastes had shifted anyway to cheaper fare, like pizza from Little Big Men and burgers from RB Drive-in. In college ac uired more refined tastes ethnic food and restaurants with menu items wholly alien to a place like the Seven-Up: tofu, sprouts, and cappuccino. I didn’t think about supper club cuisine again until I moved to Great Falls, where I fell into the habit of eating at places like Borrie’s on a Friday night, where you could get a plate of baked spaghetti with brown sauce (sometimes called “gravy” on the menu at these places) that would come with half a baked chicken riding on top. The tables all had long breadsticks accompanying salads and garnish trays with six or eight dressings. Somewhere tucked in the flow of courses would be a dish with the pickled beets, or pickled something—sometimes just pickles—and Farmers’ coffee to wash it down. I liked eating at these places, not just for the food, which I realized now had a kind of nostalgic flavor that savor more and more as I grow older, but because I liked to look around at the people: working class mostly, people who wore overalls and flannel shirts all day, but now the men sported western suits— the kind I hadn’t seen in years—polyester,

probably, with pearl snaps, the women in sensible dresses and tortoiseshell combs in their hair. People look happy in places like this, even if they sigh when they settle into their booth. A few years ago I had dinner with the TV food guru Anthony Bourdain at the supper club of supper clubs in Montana—Lydia’s, down in Butte. I hadn’t eaten there since 1985, by my reckoning, the year I was a senior in high school and drove down from Helena with a girl I was hoping to impress. But in 30 years, the place hadn’t changed a bit. The antipasto platter came out before we ordered, just as I remembered, with savory salami and pepperoncini and—their signature flourish sweet potato salad. very entr e came with a side of fried raviolis and French fries, and the steaks were real western steaks, served without a lot of distracting garnishes and drizzles. Because seafood seemed especially exotic to me as a kid, I had the scallops, for old times’ sake, huge shellfish medallions drenched in butter. At the end of the meal, we got small dishes of real ice cream—Wilcoxson’s, it tasted like—which made me think of another of my favorite supper clubs, Eddie’s Club up in Great Falls, where every meal ended with a small dish of peppermint ice cream. ddie’s was famous for its Campfire urger

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and its piano bar, where my wife and I used to go play scrabble and listen to jazz on a Friday night. Sadly, Eddie’s went the way of so many of the old supper clubs, closing after 73 years of business. In world that changes faster than the weather in ontana, it’s comforting to find yourself in a western supper club on a Friday or Saturday night, where the food is just like you remembered, with breadsticks to nibble while you wait for a steak, and the ice cream comes at the end. MSN





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DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS don’t have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy them. There’s really no reason to buy more expensive sparkling wine when this winery produces lovely wine at an every-day

price. But a reasonable price does not mean a lesser wine: Trevari sparkling wines have been served at White House State Department functions. The winery also hosts evening



events throughout the year—for card parties and chess groups, for example—so be sure to check their website. MSN

CLASSIC MOVIE REVIEW: COCOON (DIR. RON HOWARD, 1985) BY AARON PARRETT A few weeks ago, after my seven-year-old daughter and I returned to our hotel room after a soak in Bozeman Hot Springs, I let her talk me into letting her channel-surf with the remote control. After ten minutes of cycling through tedious infomercials and deplorable sit-coms, told her we had to find something decent and stick with it because the cascade of jump-cuts was making me dizzy. As it happened, one of the movie channels was ust starting a film vaguely remembered from high school, called Cocoon. Since it was rated PG, we decided to watch it. Directed by Ron Howard in 1985, it did well at the box office, making its mark as the th highest earner that year. But it received well-deserved critical acclaim, too, and it took home two Oscars—one for best supporting actor (Don Ameche) and one for best special effects. The plot offered an interesting science-fiction twist on the “fountain of youth” theme: a group of elderly residents at a Florida nursing home happens to stumble upon a swimming pool in which alien pods (the “cocoons”) are awaiting rescue back to their home planet. The aliens happen to emit a powerful life force that rejuvenates the old folks and makes them feel young again.

But the return to youth comes with the usual problems of immaturity, such as infidelity and poor judgement, which create much of the dramatic conflict in the film, and which urge the plot toward its climax. Eventually the main characters have to decide whether to leave their families and lives on earth in order to have immortality on another world. The movie shows Howard in his element, directing seasoned actors like Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Maureen Stapleton, and Jessica Tandy through a screenplay that is energetic and scene-driven. The younger foils in the film, Steve Guttenburg and Tahnee Welch (daughter of Raquel Welch) perform admirably as the literally star-crossed lovers who discover unconventional ways to consummate their interstellar romance, all while trying to rescue the Antarean cocoons from the ocean and securing them in a swimming pool near the nursing home. Cocoon spins a powerful yarn about aging and explores what makes life worth living as youth fades, and the day-to-day quality of our lives offers more challenges than rewards. The film gives off a kind of glow, evoking an emotional response in the viewer that would be sentimental, or even maudlin, except that it is tempered by sincere philosophical feeling in the most emotionally tense scenes.

Wilford Brimley steals many of these scenes with his down-home pragmatism and grandfatherly wisdom, although Ameche earned a well-deserved Oscar for his animated portrayal of the philandering Art Selwyn. My daughter was fascinated by the premise of benevolent aliens visiting Earth with powers of immortality, but she was also inspired by the film to ask many uestions about growing old and how both we and the world change with time. If the litmus test of a good film is that days later, you’re still discussing it, then Cocoon was a masterpiece for the two of us. Ron Howard, who was a child star (he played Opie on the Andy Griffith Show , no doubt had a special reverence for many of the aged stars of his film, who had been in their primes when he was coming up. Reaching middle age himself in 1985 gave him a special insight into that frustrating lesson life thrusts upon us: we are all destined to outlive our parents, and our children to outlive us, and we are compelled to drift through life, separated by generations. And yet the film made clear that the feelings we have for those we love probably wouldn’t change much, even if we could live forever. MSN





When John Fred misheard the Sergeant Pepper album track of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”—he thought Paul McCartney was singing “Lucy in disguise with diamonds”—he decided to create a send-up of the Fab Four’s work. Before long, he and fellow musician pal Andrew Bernard were filling notebooks with such pseudo-psychedelic lyrics as “Cantaloupe eyes come to me tonight” and “Lemonade pies with a brand new car” and “Cross your heart with your living bra.” (Thank you, Playtex, for that last inspiration.)



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John Fred Gourrier was born in 1941 in Baton Rouge, La.. The son of one-time Detroit Tigers third baseman Fred Gourrier. Young Fred was a standout athlete at Catholic high school. He also loved southern R & B music and, at age 15, formed a blue-eyed soul group with several classmates. They called themselves John Fred and the Playboys, named after Hugh Hefner’s popular magazine. Late in 1958, they cut a bouncy single called “Shirley” with Fats Domino’s band in New Orleans. Issued on Baton Rouge’s Montel Records label, “Shirley” began receiving airplay throughout the South, and the teenage Playboys toured whenever their school schedule permitted. But when Dick Clark invited the lads onto American Bandstand, leader Fred declined the offer. Why turn down such a golden opportunity? Fred had a basketball game scheduled at school that day. After “Shirley” failed to break nationally, the Playboys disbanded to concentrate on their schoolwork. Fred eventually earned an education degree from Louisiana State College but soon found that the music world held more interest for him than did the classroom. He reformed John Fred and the Playboys and signed onto the Paula Records label in Shreveport. However, when California’s Gary Lewis and the Playboys burst onto the music

scene, the Louisiana fellows became John Fred and His Playboy Band. Eventually, Fred brought “Judy in Disguise with Glasses ” to his band, only to find that most of the members hated it. After all, they groused, theirs was a respectable R outfit and above such nonsense. But Fred prevailed, assuring his skeptical pals that they were sitting on a potential smash, that “Judy” offered a ticket to the Big Time. Despite the Playboys’ objections, “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)” was recorded. It featured a cacophony of brass, strings, piano, sitar, bass, drums, and guitar. And gasps and moans. And ascending strings that matched the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.” Coincidentally, it was John Fred and his Playboy Band’s goofy novelty that knocked the ab our’s ello Goodbye” out of first place on the Billboard chart. When “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)” hit worldwide, John Fred and His Playboy Band toured both America and the UK. In England, they met Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who both loved the parody. Wordplay-loving Lennon even joked that, when he went home that day, he was going to sit down and write a similar fun song. He said he would call it “Froggy in a Pond with Spectacles.” MSN





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Give Hard Water Fishing A Try!


My dad’s ice auger hangs in our barn, a reminder of days gone by and time well spent fishing in the winter as a kid. ut for some reason, that time-honored pastime fell by the wayside over the years. This winter, however, I intend to return to my roots and spend time fishing on hard water. To refresh my memory, I contacted Tom McGlashen of Tackle Tom’s in Cascade,



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daho, and asked for an update on ice fishing. Long also recommended a plastic sled Tom reminded me why liked ice fishing so with sides to haul all your gear, including much. warm drinks and food—as well as something “It can be very simple,” he stated. “As to put your fish in after you pull it out onto easy as holding a line with a worm on it and the ice. dropping it through the hole. But,” he added, McGlashen said some sporting goods most people use the smaller ice fishing rods stores rent hand augers, so folks can try the that are about two feet long, so you can stand sport before spending money. closer to the hole and watch for subtle signs Bait can be as simple as worms, night a fish is on.” c r a w l e r s , Ah, yes, maggots, wax you need holes worms, or comfor ice fishing! mercial jigging Today, power lures. Basically, augers exist to you simply jig drill holes in ice, or bob the line but a good hand gently up and auger will make down, hoping to short work of attract a hungry relatively thin fish: it’s really ice—say anyjust that easy. thing under 8 I n t h e inches. A power Midwest, where auger is nice ice fishing is when ice thickhugely popular, ens over the anglers set up winter or when elaborate poryou want to fish table shelters, more than one often on wheels, hole at a time. In complete with Idaho, you can heaters and fish five holes comfortable simultaneously. chairs over their Ben Long of holes. In Idaho Whitefish, MT, PHOTO COURTESY OF THE IDAHO DEPT. OF FISH & GAME and Montana, said he started you might see hard water fishing simply by stopping in some tent-like portable shelters, but you at the local tackle shop. “I think my son, will also see plenty of folks hunkered around Aidan, and I left the store with under $50 in holes, sitting on upturned buckets or folding purchases to get us started,” he said. “And chairs and wrapped in bulky outerwear to at first, simply used a hatchet to whack keep warm. holes in the ice, although we use a hand Staying warm is important, as is safety auger now.” on the ice. Long wears ice cleats to keep from slipping, which are available at most outdoor stores and on-line. “Wind is your real enemy out on the ice,” Brian Kjensmo McGlashen said. “If you don’t have a shelter Specializing in Estate Liquidation or some way to block the wind, you’re going & Firearm Appraisals to have either a short or uncomfortable day • Firearm Collections fishing. ie-hard ice fishermen often use • Coin Collections HIGH portable shelters.” PRICEEST • Decoys S PAID Long said the extended Montana winters • Sporting Art really make ice fishing an easy way to spend (406) 633-2206 time outdoors with family and friends. “It’s PO Box 633, Park City, MT 59063 •

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something to get you outside, is way more fun than watching TV, and sometimes you end up with a great fish dinner, too ” Long also cited how close to town many lakes and reservoirs are in Montana, making spur-of-the-moment outings a snap. Both Long and McGlashen said perch fishing is the species most commonly found in winter, although some ice fishing spots are more known for having trout. asically, like catching fish,” e plained Long. “Perch are easy to catch, plentiful in most Montana lakes and reservoirs, and are great to eat.” He and his son often visit Whitefish Lake and lathead Lake for hard water fishing. In Idaho, Cascade Lake is the number-one draw for yellow perch. McGlashen said InFisherman magazine touts this Idaho reservoir as one of the top ice fishing spots in the country. “We get a lot of people from the Midwest and Canada here to fish Cascade Lake,” he said. We typically get big fish, to


inches, and in solid numbers, too.” Cascade Lake has no daily limit on perch, but checking fishing regulations is essential for every lake and reservoir in Idaho and Montana as there are no standard limits for perch or trout. Idaho boasts several other popular places for hard water fishing. Horsethief Reservoir is easily accessible on the western side of the state and is known for good trout fishing. Depending on the winter, ice fishermen typically love C. J. Strike Reservoir near Boise, especially the Bruneau Arm of the lake. Little Camas R e s er voi r i s popular for perch fishing, while Mackay Reservoir and Ririe Reservoir both offer kokanee or trout ice fishing. Check in with the nearest ish and Game office about what lakes and reservoirs are “hot” during winter, and visit stores, like Tackle Tom’s, for the local low-down. In Montana, Georgetown Lake near Anaconda at 6,000 feet has a long and productive season; Hyalite Reservoir south of Bozeman has Yellowstone cutthroat and brook trout; Fort Peck Lake in the eastern part of the state is famous for good walleye fishing; Canyon Ferry Lake near Helena draws folks who en oy fishing for both walleye and trout; and Hebgen Lake west of Yellowstone National Park has an exceptionally long season and 15 miles of lake, to provide plenty of serenity as well as good fishing. And of course, Ben Long said


good things about Whitefish Lake, and the bays along the shoreline of Flathead Lake, which both produce good perch fishing. e aware that some lakes, like Flathead, may not freeze completely across their entire expanse, so be safe. While fun, hard water fishing can be deadly if you misjudge the thickness of the ice. If it is at all questionable, stay off! Check the internet for tables on current ice thickness, or call a local sporting goods store. Be alert to areas that may look mushy after a thaw, especially in shallow, marshy areas. on’t fish alone, and don’t take chances. Other than that, just enjoy the fun of hard water fishing MSN

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Winter Walking: Snowshoes Are the Answer! BY HOLLY ENDERSBY

Love to walk? Enjoy the beauty of cold, snowy days? Then don’t let winter change your walking habits: simply strap your feet into snowshoes to enjoy this special season and get a great workout in at the same time. Snowshoeing is perfect for those of us in the higher age brackets, who don’t relish the falls that can go with skiing. Plus, its inexpensive and easy to start. The beauty of snowshoeing is you can do it anywhere there is snow: you don’t need complicated equipment, and it allows you appreciate a gorgeous winter day. GETTING STARTED: CHOOSING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT Start by figuring out the kind of walking or hiking terrain you already en oy because snowshoes are designed to meet the demands of different topography. If you think you will stay on flat terrain, say golf courses or closed roads, then choose a less aggressive snowshoe built for that. If you like winter hiking on rolling terrain with occasional steep or icy sections, choose a snowshoe with more aggressive traction. Few of us need gear built for steep, backcountry extended travel, but snowshoes exist for that as well. Once you know what terrain you’ll be on most, visit a well-stocked sports store or one of the on-line giants

like REI and L.L.Bean, both of which offer an array of snowshoes to meet anyone’s needs. Talk to a knowledgeable sales person either on the phone if you are going to order on line or at the store. If you order on line, take your time, and ask about various models. Be sure to read the on-line reviews. You want a snowshoe that is easy to put on and is built to last. At the store, try on several pairs, and find adjustable poles as well. Poles help keep you steady in deep snow in particular and really help getting you back up if you fall. Trying to find solid ground to push against in feet of snow, to get back standing is not easy: that’s where poles come in handy! Flip poles over, and grab them just above the basket on the bottom. Your poles should be adjusted to be the right height when your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. STAYING WARM AND DRY: THE RIGHT CLOTHES MATTER Once you have your gear, consider what you will wear. Insulated, waterproof boots are essential as are boot-high wool socks and knee-high waterproof gaiters, to keep deep snow out of your boots. While snowshoes help you walk through snow, you will sink some, especially in powder, so keeping your feet and lower pant legs dry is important for comfort and safety. Some folks wear waterproof rain pants instead of gaiters. I always wear synthetic or wool long underwear tops and bottoms when I snowshoe and prefer a top that has a zipper, so I can regulate my temperature easily. Because snowshoeing is aerobic, I most often wear a lightweight base layer to avoid over-heating. While you can snowshoe in jeans, you will be much happier in synthetic outerwear coupled with a waterproof, wind-resistant, breathable jacket or shell. Don’t forget a warm hat, gloves or mittens, and sunglasses to protect your eyes and, of course, sunscreen for your face. THE HOW-TO OF SNOWSHOEING: RELAX AND WALK Once you are at your destination, have your snowshoes on and grab your poles, start walking with a slightly wider-than -normal stance: if you don’t, you’ll end up stepping on the frames and doing a face plant in the snow! Push on the pole opposite from the foot moving forward to give yourself better balance. If you are on a trail used by cross-country skiers, they have the right of way. In fact, try to stay out of any groomed tracks, and make your own to the side. Going uphill requires a different kind of step. In powder, kick your foot forward to create a step: this lets the claws on the bottom of the snowshoe dig in and grip. On icy slopes, you’ll end up using your poles more and won’t be able to easily kick into the snow to create a step. This is when the claws really get a workout—as do your legs. Many snowshoes have a heel-lift device that can be flipped up, to put your foot in a better position for climbing long uphills. If the slope is super slippery, then plan on moving diagonally across it, or look for another way up. For traversing slope, called side-hilling, push the uphill snowshoe into the snow to make a shelf, putting more weight on that uphill shoe. If it is a long traverse, shorten your uphill pole, and extend






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the lower one, so their tops match in height. Going downhill gives your quadriceps a dandy workout! Keep your poles in front of you, and take moderate steps with your weight balanced over your feet. Try to keep your body straight, without an exaggerated forward or backward stance. If you are coming down a steep slope, then plan on moving your center of balance and weight to the rear of your snowshoes. If you lose your balance, simply sit down. Never be afraid to sidehill if the downhill looks more than you want to try. SAFETY FIRST: BE PREPARED It’s winter, and cold weather can kill you, so be prepared. Snowshoe with another

person, and let someone else know where you are going. Carry a backpack with essential survival gear, including a first aid. eep an extra base layer top in case you get sweaty, and pack a headlamp, water and food. Make sure you have a topographic map and a compass or GPS if you plan to go off trail or into the backcountry. But don’t let all of these precautions intimidate you or keep you from strapping on those snowshoes. My adventures are almost exclusively on closed Forest Service roads: they are easy to follow, and most are moderate in elevation gain. After all, I’m really just out for a nice winter walk! MSN

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Ekalaka Then and Now BY RUSSELL ROWLAND My last trip to Ekalaka was just a few weeks ago, when my I took my mother, 82, and her new boyfriend, Roy, 86, down to visit the family ranch,just 15 miles north of Alzada, and about 60 miles from Ekalaka. We took a drive over to Ekalaka the next day, so Roy could see where Mom went to high school. Roy is a retired history professor from Britain who has lived in the States for over 60 years. He taught at U.C. Davis for about 40 years, then got the best job ever, teaching history courses on cruise ships. So every two months for 20 years, he traveled to another amazing port and gave a couple of lectures. So he’s been around. I think it’s safe to say that Ekalaka was not on Roy’s bucket list, but he had been anxious to see another corner of the world. We met up at the Wagon Wheel Café with the Castleberrys, who had been my mother’s high school classmates. The Wagon Wheel is the only restaurant left in Ekalaka. And although Roy carried on for days afterward about how we could have gotten a grilled cheese sandwich for $3, he ordered a burger. And it was when the food came that the trouble began. Only two other tables had customers, but the waitress seemed distracted and forgot to bring us our drinks. Roy was beside himself, especially when his fries turned out to be too salty. “I need my drink!” Finally, he turned to me and said in his most appalled British manner, “Why do you suppose she hasn’t brought us our drinks? I’ve asked her three times now!” “That’s probably why,” I replied, and Fulton Castleberry just about busted a gut, laughing and nodding. Welcome to Ekalaka, 2017, where things are pretty much the same way they were in 2007, or 1987, or 1957. Ekalaka is one of the few

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county seats in the country that is not on a road going anywhere else. And in many respects, it feels very much like a dead-end town. Which is sadly true of many towns in Eastern Montana. This little town is the county seat for Carter County, which has a strong history of cattle and sheep ranches, a corner of Montana that once boasted some of the best grazing land in the region.


Like so much of Montana, this corner has been hit hard by drought for many years now. And of course, in a place where everything revolves around water, the impact is impossible to overstate. But it would be wrong to assume that people are not making a living out here. Fulton Castleberry’s great grandmother came to this area at the age of four, when her parents moved up from Iowa in 1883. They bought some livestock, but like many from that era, they lost most of their stock in the blizzard of 1886. Fulton’s grandfather eventually started another cattle ranch just a few miles outside of Ekalaka, and Fulton has owned and operated that ranch since he was a young man. “I think most of the operating ranches in Carter County are sustainable,” Fulton said, which is a bit of a surprise. “But they’re much bigger than they were when I was young. Plus people just want more than they did back then. Everyone was pretty content to get by in those days. If you had a car, you were happy. You didn’t need a whole bunch of vehicles, or a boat, or a cabin in the Black Hills. So the ranchers that want those things have to work harder.” I asked Fulton whether some of the ranchers still farm as well, as I remember my grandfather always raising a little wheat or barley, and sometimes mi ing in other crops like fla . o, there really isn’t much mixing it up anymore,” he explained. “There are a few places here that focus entirely on farming big outfits. ut the cost of e uipment these days makes it pretty much impossible to do both. You can’t use the same tractor for everything like we used to do back then. They have a separate machine for everything, and those big machines are expensive. So you’re either ranching or farming these days.” Of course, the biggest change in Ekalaka, just as it is with most small towns in Montana, is the lack of businesses in town. Everyone goes elsewhere to shop now. Fulton began naming the businesses that used to be here when he was in high school. “We had three implement dealers then—two of them sold cars, too, but they were mainly there to sell machinery. We had three grocery stores (there is one now), three bars, (again, one), we even had a bakery for a while. Plus there were a bunch of saw mills. And then there was the light plant. That plant ran on a big old diesel generator, with a flywheel that they had to dig a big pit to make room for. When they brought the generator into town, they had one semi hauling the engine, and one for the flywheel. And at night, just about the time you were falling asleep, you’d hear that flywheel. t rotated real slow and it made this thwump at the end of

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS each cycle. It wasn’t real loud, but just loud enough to wake you up.” It’s not surprising to hear that most of the ranches have gotten bigger, a trend that started from the time the West was settled. The annual rainfall in Carter County rarely rises above inches. When the pioneers first made their way out here, a man named John Wesley Powell was given the daunting task of surveying this huge tract of land called The West, and determining its potential. Based on the annual rainfall, the soil, and the weather patterns, Mr. Powell determined that the only way a family could ever make a living out here was to start out with at least 2500 acres of land. Congress was in the process of creating the Homestead Act at the time, a program that promised a family 160 acres of free land if they made their way West and proved up, which meant building a house and living in it for at least two years. Congress found Mr. owell’s findings to be very inconvenient for their promotion of the Homestead Act, so they basically discredited him. He proved to be right, but not until thousands of families moved West with dreams of bushels of wheat, or fat, happy cattle. The average ranch in Carter County is now thousands of acres, and sometimes that’s still not enough, depending on the availability of precious water. My great grandfather, George Arbuckle, had the good fortune of landing a ob as a wagon boss for one of the first cattle ranches in the area, the VVV (Three V), and when the Homestead Act kicked in, he was able to make a claim on the land where the VVV had built him a house, right along the Little Missouri River. More than 100 years later, the ranch is still in our family, which is unusual, but not completely unheard of in this country. But all of this history has to seem quaint to my mother’s friend Roy, who has written many history books, including Western Civilization: An Urban Perspective, Volumes I and II. The history he knows goes back centuries, and there we sat in a little greasy spoon diner, in a place whose “civilized” history could be counted in a handful of decades. When you watch someone who has traveled the world…watch them scrutinize the place you consider home, the place that shaped your family, and ultimately you, it’s interesting how defensive you can get. And even though Roy was diplomatic, he was also very honest when I asked whether he could see himself living here. Without hesitation, he said “No.” And he didn’t even bother to expand on that answer. He really didn’t need to, after all. Carter County is 3,348 square miles of mostly desert, dotted with a few sandstone buttes and one gift from the nature gods, called The Medicine Rocks, a smattering of huge rock formations that have been carved and poked and bored through by wind and other natural elements. Not surprisingly, the Medicine Rocks were considered magical to the Native Americans. They certainly look magical. But most of Carter County does not look magical. Most of it looks empty, and for good reason. It has a population of just over 1000 people. So more than three-and-ahalf square miles per person. In the pioneer days, visiting a neighbor was a day trip, and

without phones, visits to the neighbors were a welcome distraction from relentless work, not to mention having only your family for company. The stories of how this isolation affected people are legendary, including one from our own family, concerning my grandmother’s brother, Louie, and his wife, Vaida. Louie and Vaida were notorious for their drinking as well as their brawls, and one night they got into a wrangle, and Vaida stormed out of the house. Her timing was bad, because a blizzard had just hit earlier that day, and the snow was still coming down hard, with a brutal wind sending it into a swirl. Although we can only guess as to what Vaida’s intentions were, whether she was headed to a neighbor’s house or eventually tried to find her way back to her own home, she got lost in the storm and froze to death 100 yards from the house.



There was talk of charging Louie with negligent homicide, but it never came to that. Probably because people knew it could have happened to any of them. And of course similar accidents still do happen, to almost every family out here. Loss is part of life, and it gives the people here a certain perspective that has two sides. On the one hand, it makes them tough and resilient. They learn to cope, to move on. Because out here, there is always work to be done, and letting emotional turmoil get in the way of work is not even an option. But the other obvious by-product is that they keep most of the hard stuff—things like pain, and grief, and loneliness—to themselves, which, when you think about it, sounds remarkably British. MSN

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The Emerging Art Scene of Roundup BY RUSSELL ROWLAND When Troy Evans was six years old, his family sold their family ranch, and the man who bought it had a son who happened to be a successful art dealer, specializing in

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Renaissance and medieval art. Evans became friends with this young man, developing a taste for art at an early age in a place one wouldn’t normally associate with art. The family ranch was just outside Roundup, MT., population 1,800, the county seat of Musselshell County. Now Evans lives on a smaller ranch that used to be his grandfather’s. There Evans built a studio, where he now produces incredible woodwork, sculptures, and paintings. His work is heavily influenced by Spanish medieval sculpture, as well as paintings from the Italian Renaissance. But for the most part, he is self-taught. He began with woodwork sculptures, and quickly developed a national reputation. “I wasn’t even thinking about becoming a painter until the Montana Arts Council suggested I create some paintings, because most of my sculptures were selling for several thousand dollars,” he said. “They thought I would benefit from being able to offer some work that was affordable to more people.” He then created a series of 56 paintings he hung at a show, where they sold out. “I sort of accidentally became a painter,” he said. Evans is a sixth-generation

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Montanan, descended from a family that homesteaded just 30 miles north of Roundup in the Snowy Mountains. When asked what’s changed since he was a kid growing up in this rural community, he said, “All of the real cowboys are gone. Men like Wes Newton and Oral Zumalt. My grandfather was a world champion rodeo cowboy, and not only did I not know that until I was an adult, but my father didn’t know. We came across a photo one time that was of a bunch of rodeo champions in Madison Square Garden, and my father said, ‘Holy cow, that’s my dad.’” Quality of life is what keeps Evans in Roundup, which is a common sentiment one hears among locals in small, Montana towns. And that quality of life is what convinced his future wife, Coila Glass, whom Evans met through a friend, to relocate to Roundup. A hairdresser from Texas, Coila moved to Montana in July 2005, and the couple married in September of that same year. “We were such romantics!” she said. But their connection inspired more than a romance. Coila had always dreamed of being

a painter, but she’d always lacked motivation or confidence. even tried selling paintings out of my yard when I was a kid, but sadly, lemonade was more profitable,” she said. Evans, however, could see she had natural talent, and he encouraged her. She took her first painting class in , and something took. Over the next 10 years, Coila began a business doing massage therapy and occasional haircuts, but she was quietly working on her painting on the side. In 2014, she bought a small building in downtown Roundup and converted it to a combined massage therapy studio and art gallery. In just a few years’ time, the Coila Evans Gallery has developed a presence. She now spends most of her time painting, with an occasional massage thrown in. Although the gallery is only open by appointment, Coila hosts frequent openings and events, and because she has a naturally sunny and generous disposition, she has managed to attract some very talented artists to the gallery. She’s also fortunate enough to be living in a town that has a remarkable number of talented and nationally known artists for its size. “There are at least five artists from this area that have a national reputation,” Evans said.




embrace the different folks, and with Coila and Troy, it’s not hard to imagine why. Aside from Evans’s long family history (his father served in both houses of the state legislature and was active on many boards), the couple brings a positive energy to this small town that’s infectious. When asked what she likes about living here, Coila provided a very long list. “I love that when I’m driving down the road after dark, I get a text the next day from a client, letting me know my tail light is out,” she said. “I like to know my vote counts. I’ve worked as an election judge, and witnessed a person losing by six votes. And knowing the Arcade Bar is simultaneously receiving election updates via phone, and keeps track on a giant chalk board, marking the wins for the local and state. When a local wins, he or she rings the locally made artisan bell, buying the bar a round of drinks. “I also love that when I got married, my friends were on the side of the road picking flowers...someone stopped to make sure they were okay. My friends decided then, ‘This is a Coila kind of town.’” MSN


Coila’s first show featured ichael lessing, who grew up in Roundup, although he now lives in Bozeman. Blessing and his wife, Megan, are both very much in demand for their work. Coila also features work by local artists Gregory Wilhelmi, Joe Trakimas, and Mary Peters, all of whom are well-established. And, of course, her husband. The gallery has also featured works by other developing Roundup artists, like Angie Sellars, Dan Palagyi, Dolly Boyd, Anastasia Swarthout, Gloria Mang, and Tana Ray. And what has all of this done for the town of Roundup? That’s always hard to quantify, of course. But when Coila invited me to do a reading at her gallery a couple of years ago, I anticipated a handful of people, based on my usual experience with towns of this size. I was very pleasantly surprised when more than 20 people crowded into the small-ish gallery, almost all of them local. I also attended another event at the gallery, a show that featured skulls. Some of the works were paintings of skulls by the Blessings and Billings artist Jodi Lightner. Some three-dimensional pieces featured real bird skulls by Amber Jean, a talented artist from Livingston, who recently spent several months in Bhutan doing wood carvings for the king. And most notable were the beautiful painted skulls of another Billings artist, Jennifer French. Having lived in small towns, it’s not hard for me to imagine how some of the people probably view the Evans and their little gallery. People probably consider them a little “different.” But another thing that’s fabulous about towns like this is that they

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Cattle Baron Pierre Wibaux Stands Larger than Life BY BERNICE KARNOP

One of the most glorious messes ... “ is the mess ceated in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too - Andy Rooney quickly.

One of the first things west-bound travelers on I-94 see after crossing into Montana from North Dakota, is a nine-foot tall bronze image of Pierre Wibaux, (say WEE-bo). The striking figure sports a handlebar mustache and wears a fringed buckskin jacket, chaps, a big Stetson hat, and cowboy boots. One hand holds a pair of field glasses and the other grasps a rifle. At his feet lies a coil of rope. His gaze stretches northwest over the town of Wibaux, toward his W-Bar ranch, 12 miles out. Wibaux was son of a prosperous French family prominent in the textile and dye industry. Born in 1858, he was educated and trained for the family business. When he went to England to study their textile industry, he heard about opportunities for cattle ranching in the American west. To his father’s disappointment, in 1883, he traded the comforts of home and the textile industry for the life

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of a cattle baron in the Montana Territory. He spent that winter in a dugout near Beaver Creek. The next year he brought his wife, Mary Ellen, from New York. It’s said that they ate Christmas dinner in the sod house with a dirt floor, wearing full evening dress. They were not the only privileged people who embraced the hardship and hard work required to be ranchers. Contemporaries included fellow Frenchman, the Marquis de Mores, in Medora, North Dakota, and Teddy Roosevelt, who would become President of the United States. Before 1895, the town of Wibaux, was called Mingusville for the two of the original residents, Minnie and Gus Grissy. Teddy Roosevelt visited Mingusville, according to David McCullough’s biography, Mornings on Horseback. In a bar incident, “he stood up and in a quiet, businesslike fashion flattened an unknown drunken cowboy who, a gun in each hand, had decided to make a laughingstock of him because of his glasses. Theodore knocked him cold with one punch.” Most people were okay with the name Mingusville. Pierre Wibaux, however, drew up a petition to have it changed. According to Marlene Welliever, who has lived all of her 81 years in Wibaux, and who was curator at the Wibaux Museum for 14 years, Wibaux gathered signatures at one end of the street, then rode his horse to the other end of the street where the same people would sign it again. Wibaux ran vast herds of cattle, longhorns brought up from Texas. Some sources say he had as many as 35,000; other sources claim he had 75,000. His operation made Wibaux the biggest cattle shipping point on the Northern acific line. ierre Wibau ’s cowboys staged the first rodeo in Wibau to entertain visiting French aristocrats. During the disastrous winter of 1887, as many as 70 percent of the open range cattle perished. This is the event immortalized by Charlie Russell’s famous sketch of a skinny cow in a blizzard, titled Waiting for a Chinook. While the winter ruined many, Wibaux remained optimistic. He went back to France, borrowed money, and bought the sturdiest surviving stock from his neighbors. Then he raised the new crop of alfalfa, and fed his cattle over the winter. When homesteaders arrived in such numbers to put an end to the open range, Wibaux diversified into banking and gold mining in Montana and to other enterprises around the world. He traveled and spent time in France, but his heart remained in Montana. He died in 1913 in Chicago at age 55. Although his wife and only child lived and were buried in France, he requested that his remains be brought back to Montana. His ashes are buried beneath the town statue. The Wibaux ranch house anchors a museum complex that helps interpret his life.


Marlene Welliever said they made it as much like the original late 1800’s one as they could. Welliever fondly remembered when more than a dozen Wibaux relatives from France visited the museum a few years ago. The complex includes a livery stable containing a Rumley tractor and early tools, a shoe shop, and a grocery store. The 1900’s barber shop boasts a reproduction of the first indoor bathroom in the area, and a rail car from the 1964-65 Montana Centennial Train that went to the World’s Fair in New York and is chock full of Montana memorabilia. The museum is open from May to September. Wibaux business district includes buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. Pierre Wibaux’s father paid to have it built in 1885, so his family would have a church to attend. Originally a wood frame building in Gothic Revival style, it was enlarged in 1931, and the exterior was covered with colorful, native rock. Notable are the stained glass windows and ivy growing over the walls. Wibaux is still a cowboy community with a population of no more than 500 people today. The local high school’s six-man football team, appropriately called the Longhorns, is one of the best six-man football



teams in the state. The area draws hunters and fishermen by the scores. The first Travel ontana isitor Center on is situated ust off Interstate 94 at the exit on top of the hill. In 2008 Jim Devine and Sandon Stinnett opened the Beaver Creek Brewery, which Welliever says brings a lot of people to town. Their Halloween party “looked like the 4th of July celebration,” she said. They brew more than a dozen different beverages, including Wibaux Gold, addlefish Stout, and Rough Rider Wheat. They also make a non-alcoholic root beer from their secret recipe. Their web site advises, “Try it with two scoops of Montana-made Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream.” Wibaux is a small, gateway-to-Montana town that won the love and loyalty of Pierre Wibaux 200 years ago. Readers who visit the prairies of eastern Montana may understand why. MSN

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Host the Perfect Party: Hosting a great holiday party doesn’t have to be a daunting and expensive task. To save both time and money, consider co-hosting a party with friends, to share the responsibilities and the cost. There’s also the option of hosting a party at a restaurant. Sometimes the cost of renting a small space is less expensive than preparing food at home for everyone; and it is certainly less time consuming! Cook Like a Chef: If you’re hosting a party at home, cooking an elaborate meal for family and friends can become overwhelming. One way to handle the chaos in the kitchen is to use the crockpot. Slow-cooked meals are a great way to save time and energy when preparing to entertain for the holidays. For quick and easy crockpot meal recipes, check out Dollar General Easy Meals at One of the most expensive and exhausting parts of the holidays is shopping for the perfect gifts for family and friends. Not only is shopping online easier than contending with busy store parking lots and crowded aisles during the holiday season, it can also be less expensive. Research top online deals by scouting out your favorite stores, looking for coupons and discount codes along the way. For example, Dollar General is offering a $1 off coupon when you sign up for their digital coupons. To enroll or upload these coupons, create an account at or through the DG mobile app. Don’t cut out the fun this holiday season. Just apply a few tips and tricks to make your time and money go further, all season long. MSN

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LOOKOUT PASS AND SILVER MOUNTAIN GOOD SKI OPTIONS FOR 50+ ast issue e ran a story about a ordable do nhill s iing options for senior sno enthusiasts to chec out this inter season. ometimes hen e try to share important info, e miss a fe nuggets. The Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce brought to our attention a couple resorts in the far northern region of the state that e missed, and e thought it orth hile to share. Wallace, Idaho, has the good fortune to be 15 minutes away from two accessible, affordable, and senior-friendly ski resorts.

Save on Mobile Devices (StatePoint) Holiday spending is expected to rise this year over last, according to the National Retail Federation. While you may be budgeting for a more expensive season in some ways, keep in mind that when upgrading mobile devices for yourself or loved ones, you don’t necessarily need to go brand new and pay a premium. Lingering misconceptions persist that refurbished devices were necessarily broken or had problems. However, many such mobile phones, tablets, and accessories that come from trade-in and upgrade programs were perfectly good devices that owners sent in for newer models. Luckily, for bargain hunters, such trade-ins and sales are becoming more popular, making it easier to navigate the market for a previously owned device. Just be sure you stick to reputable sources where you can trust the device to be in fully functional condition. For example, those from MyWit on eBay undergo an extensive 65-point inspection of cosmetic, functional, and radio frequency (RF) performance to ensure 100 percent functionality. Tests verify that every function that a customer can use (camera, audio, SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) is in excellent working order and RF tests ensure wireless devices deliver a consistent quality of connection and do not drop available signals. “These days, refurbished devices can provide an affordable, high-quality alternative to a new device,” said David Conti, director of eCommerce at MyWit. “It’s also a thoughtful option for the eco-conscious, extending the life of devices and reducing electronic waste.” This holiday season, stretch your holiday budget without sacrificing on uality. Consider a great cost-saving secret on mobile upgrades, replacements, and tech gifts. MSN

Save Time and Money This Season (StatePoint) From decking the halls to hosting the perfect party, holiday-time expenses can add up quickly. This holiday season, don’t let the fun break the bank. To enjoy the festivities on a budget, consider these tips from the discount experts at Dollar General. Multi-Purpose Decorations: Try repurposing Thanksgiving decorations for the rest of the holiday season, simply by changing certain decorative elements. Candle holders, for example, are a great way to add some color and fun to any space and they can easily be changed with the seasons. Fill them with candy corn during the fall and then substitute mini-ornaments when the holidays arrive. Changing colored ribbons and small decorating items on wreaths, center pieces, and trees can make a dramatic, and inexpensive, difference.

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Lookout Pass ( is located 12 miles east and straddles the Idaho/Montana border at Interstate 90. With over 400 inches of snow and some of the region’s best powder, the resort boasts 540 acres with 35 named runs and prime powder glades. The area will soon be expanding to Eagle Peak, which will double the acreage and increase their vertical drop to 1,650 feet. In addition to Boomer Fridays, with reduced rates for those 40 and over, Lookout also has a Prime Timers Club and Senior Clinic program for individuals 55 years and over. Ten Miles west of Wallace is Silver Mountain ( Home to North America’s longest gondola, the resort offers 73 trails, 1,600 acres of terrain, 2,200 vertical feet, and more than 300 inches of snow annually. The diverse terrain spreads snow riders across two mountains, so snow enthusiasts can spend more time riding and less time waiting in lift lines. tensive gladed areas and hidden gems make it possible to find fresh powder stashes days after the last storm. MSN

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The Musselshell Valley Historical Museum in Roundup BY BERNICE KARNOP In the 1880’s cattle ran wild and free, up and down the broad Musselshell River Valley as the bison had before them. Each spring, cowboys rounded them up, branded them, and



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tallied the calf crop. In the fall, they gathered the cattle for shipping. They maintained a big corral here on the banks of the Musselshell River, and in 1883, it grew into a trading center they appropriately called Roundup. Twenty years later, by 1903, homesteaders arrived with their barbed wire fences and ended the days of the open range. In 1907 the Milwaukee Railway came through, and the town adjusted its location accordingly. The Railroad developed coal mines in the nearby ull ountains, beefing up the town with new workers. Obviously Roundup and the Musselshell Valley’s history is diverse and intriguing. Curious individuals traveling through can ask the questions about this valley at the Musselshell Valley Historical Museum in Roundup. As travelers cruise through town, they see a MUSEUM sign about a block off the highway that’s so big, it’s hard to miss. The address is 524 First Street West, and they are open from 1 until 5 seven days a week from May 1 through Sept. They don’t charge admission, but donations are appreciated. The cattle industry gave the town its name, and Roundup is where the Great Western Roundup of 1989 started its re-enactment in our state’s centennial year. Along with the more distant past, visitors to the museum will see photos and learn about the Great Western

Roundup. They may hope they don’t wait 100 years to do it again. A replica of a coal shaft from the Republic Coal Company tells about this one-time major industry developed near Klein, 2 miles southwest of Roundup. A network of tunnels remain under the Bull Mountains. The volunteer host says that this was high-quality coal, which burned more efficiently than natural gas. Sharing the room with the coal mine shaft are multiple fossils gathered in the area, including ammonites, cephalopods, and other large and small fossilized creatures. Crystals and petrified wood round out the collection. This valley was a favorite place for Native people, and their culture is acknowledged with a collection of artifacts. The museum’s main focus is on life in the early days of the town: a dress shop, the hospital operating room, general store, and post office from the small town of Rothiemay. They show a five-room home circa , a one-room school, complete with a teacher and children, and items from the Catholic Church in Klein. Some readers will be interested in the restored John Deere “Johnny Popper,” a two-cylinder, small engine that powered many endeavors in its day. Outdoor displays include a sheep wagon, blacksmith shop, and the orthfield Cattle Company ranch house. This log cabin was built in 1884 for two British cattle lords. The museum is housed in a former Catholic school building, which itself is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors sign a register from the historic and iconic Adams Hotel in Lavina, Mont. The two-story Adams hotel stood out like a big, white battleship on the prairie and was considered most magnificent when it opened in 1908. One can still see the hotel in Lavina. The Musselshell Valley Historical Museum in Roundup is a great place to stop on the way to Billings. Visitors get a chance to step back into the past centuries and re-live, for an hour or two, life in the early days of the town. It gives grandchildren a chance to put images to the old family stories and learn a bit of history as well. MSN

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Farrier Kenny Lacey Following His Lifetime Interest BY SUZANNE WARING Kenny Lacey, 51, has learned to take on the unknown. always go find out about it. At times I have said, ‘Not for me,’ but at least I have poked my nose in to see what something was all about,” he said. Following a lead to a new experience was how he found Montana. Lacey grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo. After he graduated from high school, he went into the Air Force. Upon completing his military obligation, he worked for his father. Watching his father who owned a construction

community. He decided he had found home, to be full of regret when looking back so he moved to a “little place” at the edge of on your life and say, ‘What if I had town. He found that his business of training tried that?’” MSN and shoeing horses at any given time would be backlogged by 200 or more horses. In 2013, Lacey was involved in training a horse to race. They had done all of the aspects of training, but hadn’t had an occasion to get the horse comfortable with a crowd. At the Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City that year, Lacy leaned on his horse racing experience and rode the horse in the annual race. He was out front and feet from the finish line when the deafening noise from the crowd and the pressure of all the unexpected experiences that day caused the horse to crash into the rail. Luckily it remained upright and on the track. In the process of being dropped on the other side of the rail, Lacey took out the railing and posts. If the horse had gone over the railing with Lacy, it would have probably killed him. The horse continued to the finish line in first place, but that didn’t count because there was no rider. Lacy ended up with a broken jaw, torn-up knee, fractured hip and vertebra, among other injuries. It took a long time to heal, but today he can still ride a horse. Lately his horse has been visiting another family. He has enjoyed helping out a couple with achieving their dream of living in the country and having horses to ride. The husband has Finding yourself suddenly responsible a disability, and Lacey taught them to ride for family’s PERSONAL and REAL Property? when they bought Let us help. a horse. He sent his Call Marilyn Burns today for a free consultation. own horse, Ed, to live at the couple’s place, D & M ASSOCIATES, LLC so both could ride Online and Live Auctions | Personal Property Appraisals | Estate Inventory simultaneously. Marilyn Burns CAI, MPPA, Auctioneer, Personal Property Appraiser PO Box 3605, Lewistown • 406-570-3922 • 406-535-4995 • As Lacey appraises his varied life, making Roundup his home has been a positive experience. He enjoyed all aspects of caring for and racing horses as a young man, but he had learned a lesson. He needed to give up racing because his body could no longer endure the wear and tear. He continues to take pleasure in training horses and doing the job of a farTake a look at Montana’s rier. He also enjoys Reverse Annuity Mortgage. To be eligible, you must helping others when

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company for 30-some years, Lacey realized that this was not the work his father would have chosen if he could have picked a career. Through poor decisions and bad luck, the company failed. Lacey then watched his father, who ended up with nothing, day-in and day-out toil, die of cancer. Reminded of his father’s heartbreaking life, Lacey knew he had to seek varied experiences for himself and to pick work he enjoyed. He knew he wanted to work around horses. Following that interest, Lacey raced horses and rodeoed for some time in the South. During one of those winters in San Antonio, a trainer friend encouraged Lacey to try Montana. Following up on the suggestion, Lacy spent a number of years in Billings and a few years in Miles City. Mostly he was training horses and working as a farrier. Six years ago he went to Roundup to trim the hooves of a horse that had been difficult for the farriers in the Roundup area. After Lacey’s success with that horse, word got around the community that he had the skills to work with troubled or troublesome horses. “It makes all the difference when you have a soft touch and a love for horses,” said Lacey. While he was working with the horses in the area, he got to know the Roundup


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Russell Rowland: A Critical Voice in Western Literature BY AARON PARRETT Russell Rowland was born the same year the Braves won their only World Series—when they were still a Milwaukee team. I mention this because Milwaukee is famous, but for something other than baseball, as Jerry Lee Lewis so soulfully sang in his 1968 chart topper, “What Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser Out of Me).” And I mention those two facts in tandem because Russell Rowland wrote a fine novel about booze and baseball, called High and Inside (Bangtail Press, 2015). He was born in Bozeman, where his father happened to be going to MSU to earn his Education degree. As a small child, Russell moved around a lot with his family because his father took teaching jobs in rural places, like Thermopolis, Wyo., and Roberts, Mont. But when he was 10 years old, his father decided he’d rather be a ranchhand than a schoolteacher, and he moved the family to a ranch in southeastern Montana for a two-year stint that left an enduring impression on Russell. A novel ’ve ust finished, called The Di erence et een s, is set in that two-year period,” he told me. “It was a horrible couple of years for us because my mother had grown up on a ranch and never wanted to go back to that life, and the locals, who had been working that ranch for years, now had to answer to a schoolteacher. It was tough.”

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Consequently, the family relocated to illings, where Russell finished grade school and then graduated from high school. And while he has returned to Billings where he has lived for more than a decade, at 18 he couldn’t wait to get out went to college at acific

Lutheran in Tacoma for music education.” But becoming a music teacher never panned out. Nevertheless, the music led him down the first of his life’s many adventures for several years he worked as a nightclub piano man. “I played some in Seattle, but when I’d come home, I’d play at the old Rex Hotel and other clubs in Billings. Played a lot of Billy Joel, actually, and Elton John.” In 1986, his life switched tracks again. He joined the Navy and around that time also decided he wanted to write, having developed an affection for Raymond Carver’s brilliant short fiction. wanted to do something like that,” he said, “and while I was stationed in New London, Conn., I took some creative writing courses with Blanche Boyd at Connecticut College.” That experience proved instrumental to the life he leads now as a full-time writer of both fiction and non-fiction. ut he decided he needed a more thorough apprenticeship, so he applied to Master’s programs in creative writing—two of them, in fact: The University of Montana, and Boston University. “I got into both,” he reported, “but I had always wanted to live in Boston, so I went there, starting in 1990, one month after I got out of the Navy.” In graduate school he wrote what would be his first published novel, a best-seller published by Harper called n pen paces. The book came out in 2002, 11 years after he wrote it.

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS Rowland would be among the first to tell you that the publishing industry is often disheartening, but like most successful writers, he has an unshakeable faith in what he does and proves that persistence pays off. During the decade between writing n pen paces and publishing it, Rowland worked for The Atlantic onthly, gaining more insight into writing and editing and the publishing world. In 2007, he moved back to his hometown and devoted his energy to writing full-time. He wrote a sequel to his hit novel, called The Watershed ears (Riverbend, 2007), and then started polishing up his baseball book, High and Inside, which was actually among the first novels he had written. It focuses on a retired baseball star with a drinking problem who moves to Bozeman, to sort out his life, a move with a series of unanticipated complications. The novel connects two subjects Russell Rowland takes a serious interest in: the joy of baseball and the challenge of sobriety. Along the way, Rowland worked on several other projects that helped establish him as a critical voice in Western literature, including the groundbreaking work, West of 8, a collection of writers’ views on what “the West,” and what living in the West, means. Co-edited with Lynn Stegner, the book offers a wide range of insights about the desolation of the West and its rewards and the particular challenges facing those who choose to write about this vast region of the country. That experience no doubt set him on the path of writing about his beloved home state of Montana, Fifty- i Counties, which more than one critic has compared favorably to Joseph Kinsey Howard’s classic book, High, Wide and Handsome. A local best-seller, the book chronicles Russell’s ambitious road trip around his home state wherein he visited each one of its 56 counties and talked with locals to get a sense of what it means to be Montanan in every one of its diverse localities. If you’ve not read it yet, you should. It offers one of the most readable and engaging and comprehensive overviews of the state you’re likely to find outside of oward’s book. One reason for the book’s success is that Russell has an ability to connect with people that many writers lack: he meets people where they are and knows how to elicit from otherwise ordinary folks what it is about them that makes them special and interesting. After wandering the country for 40 years, Russell has landed back in Billings, where he devotes himself to writing. “I’m a little surprised that I’m still here in Billings,” he admited, “but this city has come a long way since I was a kid.” He pointed to the diverse restaurant options, for example, and the vibrant arts scene. “In 1969, this town had one Chinese food restaurant,” he pointed out. “Now we have sushi, an Indian restaurant, The Fieldhouse Café. And the arts and writing community here is amazing.” What’s next for Mr. Rowland? He’s got a couple of novels in the pipeline, an idea for a collection of literary criticism on the West, and he’s developing a radio show that will look at Montana writers and the West. “One of the things I think about a lot,” he commented, “is that there are a lot of writers in Montana who don’t get much attention—their books don’t get reviewed or talked about, and there’s so much great stuff out there.”

Talking about all of these subjects dear to his heart seems to be a part of his life’s mission: he travels all over Montana, reading from his books, presenting at festivals, but often just talking or reading from his essaid on “Masculinity and the West,” for example. His approach to literature, like life, seems to be conversational. He likes to talk about stuff.



In fact, a good part of the material for this profile came from our casual conversation as we watched game six of the World Series together last week in Helena. “I love baseball,” he said. “I mean, look at Altuve ose Altuve . e’s like five-foot-five and the best player on the team.” But that’s Russell Rowland, always rooting for the little guy. MSN




Just Ask for Lyman at the Brodus Corner Store


You would have to overturn a lot of stones in Powder River County, probably a big chunk of Carter County, and some of the south end of Custer County to find a soul who does not know Lyman Amsden and his Broadus, MT., Corner Store. “I don’t know how they know my name, but when they need propane, they always ask for Lyman,” said the owner of the Lyman’s Corner Store, which is there because 13 years ago, it was going to be left empty, and Amsden did not want to see that happen, so he and his

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wife, Anne, took it on. cigarette on the seat. Young Amsden found Amsden, 91, stands something less than it, lit it, and had a smoke. At dinner that 6 feet. Short, cropped gray hair can be seen evening, Ralph asked his family who had been when the baseball cap comes off. Scales would smoking. “Everyone looked at me, but I didn’t say his weight is not much more than a get whipped,” said Amsden. few pounds over what he weighed when he enlisted in the Navy some 70 years ago. He has no slump to his shoulders. is fingers still work a deck of cards as if they were strings on a concert violin. And the rascal twinkle in his eyes that caused his Mom and Dad to shake their heads in agreement, “that’s our youngest son”—it’s still there. Amsden’s favorite spot in the store is where you can touch his collection of WWII era items needed to charge and shoot the big guns on his Navy MAYOR LYMAN AMSDEN DRIVES HIS TRACTOR IN THE 4TH OF JULY PARADE IN BROADUS, MONT. PHOTO COURTESY JULIE RILEY ship, the USS Formoe. The veteran explained how he loaded 3-inch shells into the ship’s During the long days of summer, the anti-aircraft gunnery and slipped behind the Amsden boys had plenty of time to test their gun to pull the trigger: It was easy to feel the parents’ patience, and the 1910 homestead, emotion that remained in this man after all which sat on the dividing ridge about 10 miles the years of his walking the deck of his ship. north of Broadus, provided plenty of room for Big gun shells share the wall with phothe boys to get away after they had crossed tographs of his brother Bill, who saw action their father’s line. at Iwo Jima and Art at Guadalcanal, images Amsden laughed as he remembered the of the Formoe, and portraits of his family... day he and his brothers had gotten on top of as well as a photo of the King of Sweden, a the roof of the house. The boys knew better dead-ringer for Amsden. than to get on the dirt roof, but they did it A large black-and-white of a man on anyway, and when they were heard their fahorseback dominates the right-hand side ther snap the razer strap, four of the five boys of Amsden’s Corner Store wall. It’s his Dad. jumped off and ran to the farthest corners of In the background, the homestead. One boy was too small to jump a log house and out and had to crawl down. buildings of the “Dad got me with the whip,” said Amsdan, homestead era can “The other boys stayed hidden all day.” be seen. “It was my is first memory of the town of roadus, home, where I was he recalled, was back in the 30’s, when his raised,” he said. family saw a Tom Gilmore staged rodeo on Amsden rememthe east side of the town. He remembered bers his father Ralph this trip, not for the rodeo action, but for the as a firm disciplinarfirst time he had ever seen a hamburger. ian, who laid the law had never seen anything like a hamburger.” down for his five sons Father Ralph gave each of the children a silver and one daughter. dollar, part of which they were allowed to When the boys had spend, and part of which they were expected an interest in smokto save. After the rodeo as the family returned ing and drinking, Mr. home in the work wagon, the kids were asked Amsden told them if any of them had any money left over. that as long as they Amsden had no money in his pocket. He were living under his had spent every part of that silver dollar on roof, they would not hamburgers. drink or smoke. It was during a trip to their neighbors’ With a quick house that the Amsden family heard the news laugh, Amsden did of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor. admit to smoking “For some reason, our radio wasn’t workone cigarette under ing, probably the batteries were dead, so his Dad’s roof. A we hadn’t heard about the attack,” Amsden cowboy rode through remarked. “I don’t think I understood the the Amsden’s homegravity of the news. I wasn’t that old.” But stead and stopped to the Japanese attack would change the course use the outhouse. In of life for the five Amsden boys. the process of takTwo of the boys volunteered right away, ing care of business, leaving their jobs at the CC camp to join the he left a handrolled Army. Amsden wanted to follow his brothers,

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS but he was only 17, and his Father would not let him go. When he turned 18, Amsden met with the Draft Board, and in a few months, he caught the train in Miles City and headed for San Diego. By the time Amsden got into the Navy, the war was winding down. Most of his WWII service was spent training other young men in the



protocol of firing the big deck-mounted guns. He did spend 11 months in the Philippines then left the Navy after the war. When the Korean War broke out, he signed up for four years. He got into a 16-week training school. “I wanted to shoot those big guns,” he said. “Plus it was a job, there wasn’t much for work around Broadus.” Things changed rather quickly for the young man from Southeastern Montana when one day, he left blank gun cartridges in a tool box. A supervisor found the shells and gave him a good chewing out. It didn’t take Amsden long to realize that the “chewing out” had dampened his excitement for the military, so he left the service and came home to Broadus. “I hung around the bars, swamping and dealing cards,” he said. “Anything to make some money.” He took work running a wheel barrow. It wasn’t much fun, so when his brother asked him to come to work for him, Amsden put down the wheel barrow and started learning how to get electricity moving through a maze of wires, switches, and boxes. He never had to run a wheel barrow again. For 50 years, Lyman Amsden was the best-known and busiest electrician in Powder



River County. He looked out the window of his Corner Store and said, “I wired pretty much everything in this town. Not the IGA store or the new elementary school, all the rest though.” Amsden met his wife, Anne, in high school. She was the sister of the girl whom he thought he would marry. But as life moved along, she married someone else. Amsden turned his focus to Anne Earley. Next year, the couple will celebrate 60 years together. Then there is the Lymen Amsden who has been the elected mayor of Broadus for 23-and-a-half years. He got beat once, but in the subsequent election, folks re-elected him mayor again. He is proud of the appreciation plaque the folks of Broadus gave him, which says, Thanks for keeping the ship afloat.” MSN

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WHISK TOGETHER: • 1 C Flour • ½ C Unsweetened cocoa • ½ Tsp Salt • 1 Tsp baking powder • ¼ Tsp baking soda MELT: • 4 Tbs butter • 4 Oz unsweetened chocolate MIX IN LARGE BOWL: • 1-½ C brown sugar • 3 Eggs • 4 Tsp expresso powder (opt) • Add Melted butter and chocolate (cooled) • Add dry ingredients and mix well. Let stand on counter for minutes. Roll 2 Tbs dough into balls and first coat with white sugar and then with powdered sugar. (The white sugar helps the powdered sugar stick better) BAKE: • 12 minutes on ungreased baking sheets • These delicious cookies look a bit like snowflakes. MSN

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A Woman to Be Reckoned With FANNIE FRENCH, MADAM OF MILES CITY AND BILLINGS An e cerpt from the boo Montana Madams Farcountry ress, 20 6 by ann arrett When she was just 16 years old, Fannie Hendrix—known today as Fannie French—got a job as an army scrubwoman at Fort Keogh. She was a biracial beauty, with her mother hailing from England and her father from New York. Like many women who washed uniforms for soldiers by day, she worked evenings tending to the desires of those men for a price, and she eventually collected a big enough coffer to quit her job at the compound and purchase a house in Miles City, on the south side of Main between Sixth and Seventh, where she discreetly managed a bordello. Her

COULD THIS BE FANNIE FRENCH’S BROTHEL? THE SCENE WAS SHOT IN MILES CITY CIRCA 1905, AND THE WOMEN ARE WEARING “MOTHER HUBBARD”-STYLE GOWNS, TYPICAL OF PROSTITUTES OF THE DAY. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MONTANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY RESEARCH CENTER, PAC 95-70 BOX 11 [18] parlor came to be known as “Fanny French’s Negro House,” catering to darker-skinned clientele, namely soldiers and railroad men. Fannie was a sharp woman—she could read and write and had strong business acumen. As her enterprise grew, so did her house to accommodate, and by 1882, she opened a new parlor on Bridge street, which boasted a ballroom with a piano, 11 bedrooms, and a “yellow-skinned” woman to work each one. She was even able to purchase her own livery and, as an expert horsewoman, enjoyed riding out on the range in her free time. In late November of 1885, Fannie was indicted for “lewd and boisterous behavior while running a house of ill fame.” But she didn’t take her $300 fine and three-month jail sentence sitting down. Appealing all the way to the Montana Supreme Court, Fannie contended that a reputation for running a whorehouse is not grounds for conviction: one has to have evidence that a person is running a whorehose. She did not win her case; however, the court removed the jail sentence, and the madam had officially established herself as a SEAFOOD force to be reckoned FRIDAYS! with in Miles City. About eight years later, Fannie French 1191 King Ave, Billings | 406-652-4416 | Mon 4–8:30pm • Tue–Sat 3–9pm was to become the first person formally

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tried for a criminal case in Custer county. In the early morning hours of January 11, 1892, a client by the name of Jeremiah Majors got into an altercation with one of Fannie’s ladies. The young woman was his favorite of the house, but Fannie had already promised her to another client. a ors had a fit and proceeded to grab the woman by the hand, to pull her forcibly upstairs while elbowing Fannie to get by. Quick to react, Fannie grabbed a leather strap that lay on a nearby chair. She whipped Majors to unconsciousness. When in court, she claimed to be defending herself and her property “against the threat of force and mayhem.” Instead of sentencing her for assault, she got off on a misdimeanor. Apparently, she had close ties with several of the jurors. Ater an original vote of ten to acquit and two to convict, after much deliberation, jurors agreed on a compormise. Fannie went home without having to serve time, but was re uired to pay a fine. Throughout the years she had given birth to three children—Birdie, Nora, and Charles— but they were not reported to have been hanging around their mother’s place of business. The Yellowstone Journal did report in 1894 that her daughter irdie Astle was the first resident of the city to be sent to reform school. Fannie ran her brothel in Miles City for 20 years before moving on to Billings to live out the remainder of her life. According to the 1900 Billings census, she was running a house right in the heart of the red light district. She died of dropsy in June of 1901. Her daughter Nona came to Billings to tend to her mother’s remains. MSN




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Christmas had traditionally been a time for us to spoil the kids. Presents would pile up and spill out from under the tree. On any Christmas morning there would be paper, bubble wrap, and ribbon strewn from couch to table and back. One year we decided to have an extended family Christmas, so my sisters and my aunt and a neighbor all came out to the ranch to have a sort of “second” Christmas. Some had already had an early-rising, early-mass, sort of morning, but presents were saved for the family Christmas too. We had a large kitchen/dining area with plenty of room to sit. There were a lot of kids. I don’t remember exactly how many under-10’s there were, but a lot. My wife asked how we were ever going to get everybody to sit at the refectory-type table in the dining area. It would have been over 20 in all. I had a solution. I had an old door out in the barn, so I dutifully cleaned it up, took off the hardware, brought in a couple cement blocks, and voila!—A separate child table. My wife was skeptical of feeding children sitting on the floor, but she finally saw the wisdom of having no other option. Christmas descended. Sure enough, everyone showed up, and the presents were stowed under the tree and spilled all over, just like they were supposed to. The kids understood that we had to eat first, then open presents. Of course, that didn’t stop them from shaking each package, examining each card, guessing

contents, and begging older children to read the tags for younger ones. The Christmas feast went over just like it was supposed to. Brunch, actually. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, cranberry sauce, fruit…you know, just our average breakfast for 22 people. The kids had a marvelous time at their own table. No one cared about spilled syrup, butter in hair, or anything. The adults had a wonderful time too, no doubt fueled in part by my wife’s lovely suggestion that a Christmas mimosa was just the thing. And she had plenty of that, too. While we were being jolly and happy, we adjourned to the living room for the kids to open presents. The gift giving and appreciating


s Surprise was more of a guided chaos than a process. Paper, bubble wrap, boxes, ribbons, and an occasional limb from a doll flew across the room. We laughed and enjoyed watching the kids take up each new toy. There were large boxes in the den, and we suggested the kids pick up all the paper and wrappings and put them in the boxes. As the chaos quieted, the adults went back to the kitchen to visit—and have a little more mimosa. The din of the children seemed to be dying down,


and all was well. Children filtered in and out. After a while, someone noticed the children didn’t seem to be around. We began to realize that maybe things were going a little too well. The noise was no longer deafening. In fact, things were darned quiet, unnaturally quiet. We went into the living room. It was a large room. I mean this was a ramshackle old farmhouse, but it had some big rooms. The kids had taken the big boxes and partitioned them with cardboard from smaller boxes, built tunnels from one box to the next, covered the open area in between with a sheet, and duct taped the whole shebang together. One of the grandkids exclaimed, “We made our own Christmas Village!” The toys lay forgotten, at least for the moment, on the sides, on the couch, in the front room, or wherever. It was a lesson for us all. The kids were playing with each other, making their own fun, and having a whale of a time. Never underestimate the true spirit of Christmas.



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New Year Resolutions BY KIMBERLY BLAKER The New Year is a great time to take inventory, set goals, and take charge of your life. But if you’re like most, making resolutions is much easier than keeping them. Rather than focus on the idea of a new beginning, which can lead to disappointment at the first slip, keep in mind that self-improvement is an ongoing endeavor. Setbacks are not failure; they


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list, and cross off any you do not feel truly devoted to. Whether you resolve to spend more time with your family, quit smoking, or lose weight, you’re more likely to succeed if you feel a strong personal commitment rather than ‘I should.’ One reason people don’t keep resolutions they make is the resolutions are often made to silence the pestering of a loved one. If you decide to quit smoking to get your husband off your back, you’re less likely to succeed. If you decide to quit smoking to feel healthier and be able to enjoy physical activity without being winded, you’re more likely to experience success. Choose one or perhaps two of the resolutions on your list to which you feel most committed. Then choose one or two you feel confident you can

do with ease. These last couple can be used as positive reinforcement for the more challenging first choices. The next step is to make a clear plan for adhering to your resolutions. Put each resolution in writing, and detail the steps to achieve them. If your resolution requires a routine or schedule such as an exercise routine, a new diet, or steps toward completing your education, then create a goal chart, a detailed plan, and a checklist to track yyour progress. Also, post notes in strategic places such as the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or steering wheel as reminders of your resolutions with tips on how to overcome temptation. Make certain your family understands the importance of your resolutions. Family support and their positive reinforcement can be most helpful. If your resolution is something your family has been nagging you about, ask for their encouragement but explain that pressure and pestering, particularly during setbacks, could undermine your resolve. Determine how each family member can help you to achieve your goal perhaps by taking on additional household chores or through affirmations of your continued success. Adjust your environment to enable success. f eating healthier is your goal, don’t fill the cupboards with junk food for other family members. Find healthy snacks they’re willing to substitute. If you’re trying to quit smoking, avoid people, places, and things that remind or tempt you, at least until you have it well under control. Don’t go it alone. If you have a friend with a similar resolution, make a pact. Work together to create a plan, and then make a point to check in with each other regularly for encouragement, praise, and support. If you resolve to get more exercise, do it together. Having a commitment and someone to accompany you will go a long way in helping you to succeed. Finally, reward yourself, not just once you’ve achieved your goal, but periodically for your success so far. Small, periodic rewards can be motivation enough to keep you strong when you’re ready to throw in the towel. Remember, whatever New Year resolutions you choose, success awaits you if you resolve to never give up trying. MSN




STEAM Books Make Great Gifts for Kids


(StatePoint) Add joy to the holiday season with exciting books for kids. Think about choices focusing on STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) that encourage the pursuit for knowledge and offer opportunities for immersive, learning experiences. Here are a few fun ideas. ULTIMATE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE Packed with information, DK Children’s Encyclopedia explains virtually everything! Each entry features a key topic explained in a visual way, with fun facts and cross-references, revealing the links between subjects. Covering arts, people, history, earth, nature, science, technology, space, and the human body, this is an essential reference book for children who want to discover as much as possible about the world around them. COOL CODING Kids can learn to code games and use Scratch with Star Wars Coding Projects, a visual guide that shows readers everything they need to know to create cool computer projects, animations, and games. Readers can build a game where they navigate a spaceship through an asteroid belt, as well as a jetpack simulation game. Kids can share projects with friends and challenge them to beat their scores. Each project consists of simple, illustrated steps.

NATURE UP-CLOSE A visual reference for kids that explores the natural world in stunning detail, Explanatorium of Nature, created in association with the Smithsonian Institution, is the first in a brand new book series. Through close-ups and cross-sections, exploded images, X-rays, and more, the book explores everything from fruit to flies, coral to clouds, and mountains to mammals—and is a nice tool for curious minds to find out how things work and why they e ist. VIRTUAL REALITY Created in association with an educational virtual reality (VR) company, Virtual Reality explores the history of VR and includes an app download for five VR experiencAging Services es and a cardboard viewer with stickHelp Line ers to make it your Area III Agency on Aging own. Kids can come 311 S Virginia St Ste 2 face-to-face with a Conrad, MT T. rex, look inside a For older adults, their families, & friends. volcano, explore the Roman Colosseum, • Info & Assistance hop aboard the • Medicare Part D International Space • Low Income Station, and peek unSubsidy Programs der the surface of a • Ombudsman Sevice pond. For all households DIY EVERYTHING Low income Using freely availEnergy assistance able software, 3D 406-271-7553 Printing Projects pro1-800-551-3191 vides inspiration and

step-by-step visual instruction for simple builds and complicated pieces, from small treasure boxes to chess sets and model cars. This how-to guide covers such subjects as designing, scanning, modeling, digital sculpting, slicing, and printing. Information on the 3D printing revolution and the science behind how it works is also included. This holiday season, give the gift of knowledge and fun, with great books that explore the world. MSN



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DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS getting to know your needs and to meeting them through open communication and care coordination. The primary care physician serves as your quarterback, directing your care through a network of like-minded specialists. 3. Take advantage of preventive care enefits Medicare plans offer many preventive health benefits. The Centers for isease Control and Prevention estimates that 100,000 lives could be saved each year if everyone received recommended preventive care, which often starts with seeing a doctor for an annual check-up. So go to your doctor, know the

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health screenings you need for your age and get them to take control of your health. For more information about preventive care, visit 4. Stay active with fitness benefits. Exercise is essential to healthy aging. Original Medicare doesn’t cover gym memberships or fitness programs, but some Medicare Advantage plans offer such benefits as part of their coverage at no extra cost. 5. Use no-cost resources to help pick the right plan. CMS’ Plan Finder helps you

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BY NICK DIETZEN If there’s one thing Montana’s have universally, it’s a strong sense of place. We are fiercely proud of our state and happy to tell folks it’s our home. As one of our board members once said, “We’re the last to ask for, but the first to offer help.” We’re hard-working, hard-playing and generous here in Big Sky Country. That generosity and willingness to help others is part of our fabric as Montanans. At the same time, we are prudent with our money and know sound financial planning is important for our own future and the future of our state. To that end, there’s a special something that allows us to both give and save money here in Montana. That sounds impossible, but it’s true. It’s planned giving and the Montana Endowment Tax Credit. There is a way to get up to a $10,000 credit on your Montana taxes, and by getting this credit, you’d not only be benefitting yourself, but also your favorite Montana charities. Montana is one of only four states in the country to offer a credit like this, but this credit expires in 2019. Formally known as the Montana Charitable Endowment Tax Credit, this opportunity offers you a credit of 40 percent of a qualifying planned gift’s federal charitable deduction, up to a maximum of $10,000, per year, per individual. It also allows a credit of 20 percent of a gift’s federal charitable deduction for a direct gift by a ualified business up to a maximum of $10,000 per year. Charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, and some estate gifts all fall into this category. But the most amazing thing about planned gifts is how creative you can get with them.

They help people offset huge tax burdens, provide retirement security or help loved ones by offering them a steady income in the future, solve complicated and often quarrelsome estate issues and much more. Planned gifts not only help charitable organizations that are crucial to our communities, but also help Montanans make the most of their money. What does this all look like in the real world though? Here’s an example. A planned giving donor 60 years of age creates a deferred gift annuity with an initial gift of $10,000. This results in an $8,310 charitable deduction and a $3,324 Montana Endowment Tax Credit. That’s $11,634 in deductions and credits, a total more than the value of the original gift. Annuity payments begin within life expectancy (12/31/35) of $700 per year for the remainder of the donor’s life. After five years, the donor can choose to relinquish the future payments and will receive another smaller tax deduction. The money will then be paid out to the charity or charities of the donor’s choice. Or if not relinquished, upon death, CONTINUED ON PAGE 56

a k e y o u r a s s e ts m o re p ro d u c tiv e . C o n s id e r u s in g lo w -y ie ld in g , h ig h ly a p p re c ia te d a s s e ts to m a k e a life -in c o m e g ift to th e W ild life B io lo g y P ro g ra m a t th e U n iv e rs ity o f M o n ta n a .Y o u c a n u s e a n a s s e t, s u c h a s la n d , to p ro v id e y o u w ith a n in c o m e s tre a m w ith o u t in c u rrin g c a p ita l g a in s ta x o n th e a p p re c ia tio n . S u c h a g ift c a n re a p b e n e fits fo r w ild life a n d y o u . L e t u s h e lp y o u e x p lo re th e p o s s ib ilitie s !

compare costs, covered medications and other items. Many insurance plans offer seminars at no cost and with no obligation to sign up. You can also check health plans’ websites or call customer service for more information. Local and state agencies on aging also connect older adults and caregivers with community resources. As you weigh the options, Evanko offers this advice: “It’s worth it to take the time to set your priorities and see how plan benefits stack up. Only then can you choose a plan that really helps you get the most from it and reach your goals.” MSN


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the remainder, which has been growing through investment goes to the charity or charities of the donor’s choice. (These calculations are for illustration purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, or other professional advice. our actual benefits may vary depending on several factors including your age and size of your gift.) That could be your local animal shelter, church, senior center, a museum or park, schools or any number of other local needs. Imagine getting tax deductions and credits greater than your donations and helping your favorite Montana charities. Financially savvy and generous Montanans have been taking advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit for years. And remember this is just one example of a planned gift; there are many more ways to structure gifts that make the most sense for your personal needs. The ontana Office of Gift lanning OG at the ontana Community oundation is dedicated to ensuring both your financial and philanthropic goals are met. The MOGP’s director Amy Sullivan has helped many Montanans take advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit. While it all may sound complicated, Amy is great at assessing your needs and finding a creative way for you to help yourself financially and help ontana philanthropically. Call ick at 8313 or visit to learn more. Please don’t delay—this opportunity for you and Montana may not last forever. MSN

Time’s Almost Up… Don’t Miss This Important IRA Deadline! BY TERESA AMBORD


Having retirement accounts is comforting. But it comes with responsibilities. If you’ve reached age 70-½, you must take annual withdrawals from your traditional RA, simplified employee pension accounts, and SIMPLE IRAs. (Roth IRAs established in your name are exempt from RMDs. If you have inherited Roth IRAs, contact your accountant for the rules regarding withdrawals.) The amount you must take is specific to your situation. t’s called a required minimum distribution (RMD). You may feel you’re not ready to take a withdrawal, but if you miss taking your RMD, or take less than you must, you could be hit with a stiff penalty of 50 percent We’re committed to of the shortfall. making Helena a WHY DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE RMDS? great place to live, Well, it’s been nice deferring taxes for decades. But all good things work, and play. come to an end. It’s time to pay the taxes, so your RMD will be taxed as ordinary income. WHEN TO START? ou must take your first R no later than April of the year after the year you turn 70-½. So if you turned 70-½ in 2016, you should’ve taken your first R by April , . Let’s say you did take your first RMD on time by April 1, 2017. Does that mean you’re now in the clear for 2017? Sorry. That RMD was actually for 2016. You’ll need to take another RMD for 2017 by no later than December 31, 2017. This doubling up only applies to your first year of R s. Once you get past the first Federally insured by year, you will only need to make sure that you take one annual RMD. NCUA. Lori Murphy-Moullet Suppose you turned 70-½ in 2016, and you did take an RMD before Equal Housing Vice-President of Lending the end of 2016. In that case, you only have to take one RMD for 2017 Opportunity. and future years. HOW MUCH IS YOUR RMD? our financial advisor can determine the amount, or you can calwehearthelena culate it yourself if you wish. Here’s how: Combine the balance in all of your traditional IRAs, SEP accounts, and SIMPLE IRAs as of the last day of the previous year. So if you’re calculating your 2017 RMD, total your balances on December 31, 2016. (Some sources say you should calculate the RMD of each IRA separately, rather than totaling the balance.) Want CASH for your Real Estate Contract or Note NOW? Then divide the total by your life expecWe can purchase all or a portion of your real estate tancy factor as of the age you will be on the secured note or contract for cash! We also can arrange for last day of the current year. ou can find your equity loans secured by investment, land or income proplife expectancy factor in IRS Publication 590 erties. We also provide valuations for estate purposes. and look for the life expectancy tables for the owner of the account. Call today or go online for a free, no obligation quote HAVE SEVERAL TRADITIONAL IRAS? on your note, contract or loan scenario. You can choose to take your entire RMD from one IRA or divide it up over some or all (406) 721-1444, (800) 999-4809 or of your IRAs. For an employer plan, however, calculate that RMD separately, and take the Creative Finance & Investments has been a Montana appropriate distribution from that account. Owned & Operated company for over 30 years! 1821 S Ave W #407 Missoula

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cash donation to an IRS-approved charity directly from your IRA (of course, it has to be at least equal to your RMD). You could just take the distribution and donate the money, but having it come directly from your IRA has a sweet bonus. The donation comes out of your traditional IRA federal-tax free, whereas most IRA distributions are at least partially taxable. Be aware, when you make this kind of charitable donation, you cannot also deduct on your tax return, because you were never taxed on the amount. GETTING HELP WITH YOUR RMD The rules surrounding RMDs can become complex in some situations, especially if you have inherited IRAs or other retirement accounts. our C A or trusted financial advisor can easily make the calculation for you and help you steer clear of penalty situations. But be aware…the closer it gets to the end of the year, the more these advisors are slammed with clients seeking appointments. If you believe you’ll need help with the calculation or arranging for the distribution, contact your financial advisor right away for an appointment. MSN


NOTE: If your spouse has IRAs in his or her own name, the rules for taking RMDs apply separately to those accounts. Let’s say you and your spouse both turned 70-½ during 2017. You must both take your first R s based on your own RAs, by April , . NOT INTERESTED IN TAKING AN RMD YET? If you’ve already reached age 70-½ and don’t need a cash distribution, you might consider a charitable donation. That is, making a

Four Things Vets and er ice Mem ers hould Know When Buying a Home

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(StatePoint) If you’re a veteran, reservist or active duty service member, it’s important to know of special benefits you may be eligible for when buying a home. “Veterans and service members have earned the opportunity to become homeowners, and it’s crucial that they are well-informed about the benefits and options available to them,” said Greg Murray, military mortgage program manager at Wells Fargo, who is also a U.S. Navy veteran. To help, Murray identified the top four things to know when buying a home. e i fin n i e ti n res r es re designed for military personnel and veterans. Take advantage of these free online resources, so you can be a savvier home shopper. For example, Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking for Military, which offers courses on topics like banking basics and smart spending, also contains a comprehensive guide on home-buying. • Before assuming you won’t qualify for a loan, talk to a lender. Be sure to tell the lender that you have served or are currently serving in the military. They can inform you about the options available to you, such as a Veteran’s Administration (VA) loan. A VA loan is a home loan guaranteed by the federal government, designed to help those who’ve CONTINUED ON PAGE 58

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Montana’s Future is in Your Hands.

Learn how planned giving can help you, your loved ones and the charities you care about. Also, save up to $10,000 on your taxes with the Montana Endowment Tax Credit. 406.443.8313






served in the military obtain homeownership. They can sometimes be obtained with zero down payment. Gifts or grants can be used to help cover down payment and closing costs, subject to program requirements, and no mortgage insurance is required. r e rti n ifie ers ren t taking advantage of the low-to-no-downpayment mortgage options available through VA loans. Indeed, more than 21 million veterans and service members live in the U.S., however,

over the past five years, a mere percent of them bought a home using a VA home loan, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This may be due to the common myth that active duty service members, National Guard members, and reservists are not eligible for VA loans (in fact, they may be eligible). Many also are unaware that unmarried, surviving spouses of veterans who died as a result of service or service-related causes are also eligible. • Individual banks, not the Department of Veterans Affairs, offer VA loans, allowing you

rea Holiday if s ha (StatePoint) The holiday season is all about giving. This year, consider combining thoughtful gifts for loved ones with charitable efforts that benefit the larger community. There are many ways to do so. Here are a few. GIVE BOOKS AND DONATE Shopping for a bibliophile? Along with the gift of a book, consider honoring your gift recipient while promoting literacy and a love of reading in the wider community. Libraries often have programs that offer gift givers an opportunity to donate a book in someone’s name. Or, you may consider donating books or a magazine subscription to a homeless shelter or school. GIVE CLEAN WATER Unfortunately, these days, safe tap water is not always a given, no matter where one lives. With the incidence of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes on the rise that may displace families and create uncertainty about water quality, consider gifting something essential — safe hydration on-the-go.

to work with a lender who understands your needs and makes you feel comfortable. “A specialized team member who understands unique military needs...can help you make the most of the home loan benefits you’ve earned,” said Murray. Developing a relationship with this lender is also a good idea, as you may later choose to refinance through the A nterest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program. To learn more, visit military. MSN

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Refillable water bottles that feature builtin filters can give recipients access to safe drinking water from virtually anywhere. Those from LifeStraw remove 99.999999 percent of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella) and 99.999 percent of waterborne protozoa (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium), while reducing chlorine, organic chemical matter, bad taste, and odor. For kids, LifeStraw Play is a good choice and will offer parents greater peace of mind. t’s the first water bottle with a two-stage filter designed for children. The oz. bottle is dishwasher safe, and its sturdy leak-proof design makes safer drinking convenient at home, school, on camping trips or during emergencies. For adults, consider LifeStraw Go with two-stage filtration that ensures safe hydration during travel, at home, in the office, at the gym, and outdoors. For those thinking charitably this season, consider that for every LifeStraw product purchased, one child in a developing community is provided with clean drinking water for an

entire school year through the company’s Follow the Liters program. As of now, Follow the Liters has provided safe drinking water to 633,000 students at 1,000 schools, and plans to reach one million students by early 2018. LifeStraw products are available for purchase at specialty retailers and online at www. GIVE A LOCAL EXPERIENCE When shopping for a loved one or friend who seems to have everything, planning an experience may have a greater, longer-lasting impact than a gift card, video game, or flowers. Consider giving tickets to an art gallery, a play at a nearby theater, or a local museum. Many of these venues are non-profit and donate revenues from ticket sales to charitable foundations. At the same time, you’ll be supporting your local community. This holiday season, you can spread cheer to loved ones and beyond with thoughtful gifts that make the world a better place. MSN

He dreams of the biggest catch.

You dream of enough college savings for his future. Achieve Montana offers 529 investments for tax benefits now and college savings for the future. Anyone can contribute to a child’s college savings. Plus, through our Ugift® option, it’s safe and easy to help build their savings. Give your grandchildren the chance to explore all they want in life. START AN ACCOUNT TODAY FOR AS LITTLE AS $25. · 1.877.486.9271 For more information about Achieve Montana, download an Enrollment Kit at or call 877.486.9271. The Enrollment Kit includes a Program Description that discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing. If you are not a Montana taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. An Achieve Montana account is not insured by Montana and neither the principal invested nor the investment return is guaranteed by the State of Montana. Ugift is a registered service mark of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc., an affiliate of Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services, LLC.




i orced and Considering emarriage? CONSIDER ESTATE PLANNING ARRANGEMENTS FIRST BY TERESA AMBORD (SENIOR WIRE) If you are considering marriage, and you have children from a previous marriage, it’s important to contact your estate planner to make sure everything is in order. UPDATE ALL OF YOUR ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS Even if you don’t have major assets, you need a will, powers of attorney, health care directives, and other documents, such as trusts and life insurance policies. Imagine if you passed away and your surviving spouse learned that your former spouse is still listed as executor of your estate. Depending on where you live, the laws in your state may specify that your divorce decree automatically revokes property dispositions as well as appointments to posts, such as your executor. But the same may not be true if your former spouse’s relatives are appointed to these posts.You and your former spouse may have named your sister-in-law as a guardian. Check with your estate advisor to ensure that you know these appointments are cancelled. Also, be aware that the terms of your divorce may require you to retain your former spouse as the beneficiary of certain retirement or pension plans. Again, check with your estate advisor. TO PRENUP OR NOT TO PRENUP? For the sake of your children, consider a prenuptial agreement. This is not a popular topic with many people because it seems to anticipate failure. But instead of looking at it that way, look at is as a sort of insurance policy to make sure your children from your previous marriage will inherit what you want them to inherit. f your current spouse is financially independent, chances are he or she will be fine without your assets. epending on where you live, it can be hard to disinherit your spouse. Many states provide the surviving spouse with an elective share of the estate of the deceased spouse, such as one third to one half. If you live in a community property state, each spouse is entitled to one-half of all community property. A prenuptial agreement allows spouses to waive the respective rights to each other’s property, as well as serving other purposes. If you’re already remarried, it’s not too late. CHECK YOUR BENEFICIARIES Divorce is often characterized by chaos, which is why it’s common to forget that your former is still the beneficiary on your life insurance, retirement, annuity, or trust. Don’t waste another moment checking to see who your beneficiary is, otherwise the last person in the world you’d want to give your money to may end up getting it all. Take your research a bit farther. If you have minor children as your beneficiaries is your former spouse set to be their legal guardian if you pass away? If so, keep in mind that he or she will control assets that minors inherit directly. Someone, perhaps your former spouse, will likely be made conservator of that money while the children are still minors. A conservator will be obligated to act in the best interest of the children and will be supervised by a court of law, but in reality, that person will still have considerable discretion over how your assets are used. If you’re not okay with your former spouse getting control of your assets, talk to your estate advisor. You might be able to avoid that scenario by establishing trusts for the kids, and choosing a trustee yourself. WHAT ABOUT TAXES? If your estate is large enough that estate taxes might be a concern ($5.49 million in 2017), multiple marriages present some challenges if you want to preserve some assets for children from your previous marriage. You may know that you can take advantage of the marital deduction, which allows you to leave unlimited assets to your spouse, tax-free. But to do that, you have to leave assets to him or her outright. And that means you have no guarantee that your current spouse will provide for your children from a previous marriage.

Ask your estate advisor about establishing a QTIP trust (that is a ualified terminable interest property trust . This allows you the benefit of the marital deduction, shields your assets from estate ta , pays your current spouse the income from your assets, but protects the principal for your children to inherit when your current spouse dies. Ask your estate tax advisor for details about QTIP trusts and other ideas for protecting your assets. Remarriage complicates estate planning, especially when there are children from multiple marriages involved. All this is why it’s critical to work with a ualified estate advisor to protect your heirs from unintended consequences. MSN

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Health Care


Embracing “Less Is More” For Better Health CONFRONT ISSUES OF ATTACHMENT TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF DISORGANIZATION BY CARRIE STENSRUD Minimalism is a style of extreme spareness and simplicity. Originally demonstrated in expressions of music or art, minimalism has gained momentum as a lifestyle, inspiring folks to keep only a minimum amount of belongings and sell or donate the rest. Some have taken the idea so far as to leave their homes

CATARACT SURGERY D r o p le s s INTRAOCULAR INJECTIONS M a c u la r D e g e n e r a tio n • D ia b e tic E y e D is e a s e COMPREHENSIVE EYE CARE R o u tin e E y e E x a m s • E m e r g e n c y E y e C a r e G la u c o m a T e s tin g & T r e a tm e n t L A S I K & P R K • B o to x I n je c tio n s OPTICAL E y e g la s s e s • C o n ta c t L e n s e s

Mark F. Ozog, M.D.

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

406-453-1613 • 1-800-541-2417 1417 9th Street South, Suite 100, Great Falls

and move into “tiny homes,” downsizing from a traditional house to spaces as small as 400 square feet. Despite varying degrees along the minimalist spectrum, the bottom line remains: “Less is more” is better for your physical and mental health. This philosophy is not just a trend. Embracing minimalism can help keep you safe in your home. Falls are a common source of injury among senior populations, and having a cluttered home can contribute to falling. According to the Journal of Injury of Violence, most falls for individuals 65 and older occur at home, and many are complicated by environmental hazards, such as throw rugs, curled carpet edges and transitions between rooms. To compound the problem, general disorganization results in not being able to find things when you need them. The risk of falling increases with rushing, worrying, and losing focus. Clutter around the home also creates places for bacteria, dust, and mold to collect. Exposure to increased levels of environmental hazards can aggravate allergies and other respiratory conditions, cause generalized inflammation, and even lead to chronic illness. In addition to physical safety, clearing the clutter is beneficial to mental health. Clutter contributes to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Being surrounded by piles of papers, trinkets, and mementos provides a lot of information for the eyes to process, creating a visual reminder of unfinished work. This constant, low-grade stress results in mental fatigue over time, ultimately reinforcing procrastination habits and weakening decision-making skills.

Great news! You can invest your IRA distributions to support great programs—and reduce your taxes Taxpayers 70½ and older have a wonderful opportunity to support the Benefis Foundation and other charitable organizations now that Congress has made the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent! Charitable gifts of any amount up to $100,000 may be made from your IRA each year. The best news is that these gifts count toward your Required Minimum Distribution and are not subject to income taxes. The benefit is available even if you don't itemize your federal tax returns. The charitable distribution must be sent directly from the IRA administrator to the charity. Ask your IRA administrator how this option works or contact us at the Benefis Foundation. You choose how you want your gifts put to use through the dozens of vital funds and healthcare programs the Foundation supports. Please contact your financial advisor or Marilyn Parker Certified Specialist in Planned Giving Benefis Health System Foundation 406-455-5836 or

The cycle of disorganization is real. In order to break it, we must confront issues of attachment. We hold on to things because they have sentimental value or represent a fond memory. According to Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, those memories and moments have served their purpose. They have already provided moments of joy, and it is perfectly acceptable to let them go. The book holds steady as a best-seller because it represents a level of freedom that resonates. People want clarity and purpose. Kondo’s strategy has become known as the KonMari method. She presents a systematic approach to sorting through categories of belongings and only keeping those things that “spark joy.” It requires a level of honesty in looking at those items that might be weighing us down for the wrong reasons. pon finishing the process, people often report feeling their true authenticity shining through. Winter brings with it an acute awareness of being confined to indoor spaces for longer periods of time, making it a perfect time to begin the process of paring down, clearing out, sorting through, and letting go. Modifying the home to become safer, simpler, and more efficient is a wonderful opportunity to connect with family members as well. If you have storage boxes full of childhood mementos for your children, hand them off, so they can decide what they would like to save or toss. If you have vintage items you’d like to sell, connect with someone who can help investigate their value in the online market.

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS Start small, one room or one category at a time, and give yourself a set time to work. Tackling too much at once can keep you in the messy loop of messes, feeling helpless and overwhelmed. If you experience limited physical ability, request a consult with an Occupational Therapist. These health professionals can assess your environment for safety risks and fall hazards, offering suggestions and tools to



make you less vulnerable and more in control of the space around you. Keep in mind that “out with the old” does not always mean “in with the new.” Once you have created a space that reflects the best, most simplified expression of yourself, it’s even more empowering to keep it that way. MSN

Mental Health Care Providers FINDING A QUALITY, KNOWLEDGEABLE THERAPIST BY KIMBERLY BLAKER “At least 100 million people currently living in the United States will, at some time in their lives, experience problems in relationships, become depressed, or develop anxiety so serious that they will merit psy-

chiatric diagnosis and would benefit from the services of a mental health care professional,” reveals Larry E. Beautler, Bruce Bongar, and Joel N. Shurkin in A Consumer’s Guide to Psychotherapy: A Complete Guide to Choosing the Therapist and Treatment That’s Right for You. Should you be faced with such a crisis, know how to find a reputable mental health care provider with the expertise you need and that you can trust. FINDING A TRUSTWORTHY, REPUTABLE THERAPIST Most mental health care professionals adhere to ethical guidelines, but as with any field, there are always a few bad apples. So know how to screen. Begin your search by asking family or friends for recommendations, contact area clinics for referrals, or consult your yellow pages or online directory. Phone three or four therapists and ask about their credentials,

policies, and treatment methods. You should ask the following questions: • What are your areas of expertise? • How much experience do you have with my particular issues? • Are you licensed or certified by the state? • Has your license ever been suspended or revoked? If so, can you tell me about the situation? What are your professional affiliations • What forms of treatment and therapy do you provide? What evidence is there to support its effectiveness? Is there controversy among mental health care professionals regarding this treatment? • What are your fees? Do you accept my insurance or work on a sliding scale? If you can’t get answers to these basic questions over the phone, look elsewhere. f you’re satisfied with the therapist’s responses, check with your state-licensing department to verify the license status and to make sure no actions have been taken against the therapist. EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE Once you begin t h e r a p y , c o m p l ications still may arise. According to Beautler, Bongar, and Shurkin, therapists who base their beliefs on personal experiences often reject scientific findings that don’t


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Whether or not you’re aware of it, each year there are many changes to your health. These are the things your primary care provider notices. This is why there is value in having a strong relationship with your primary care provider. He or she is the foundation of a healthy life and the starting point for treatment and prevention of disease or other serious health issues. Find your primary care provider at Barrett Hospital & HealthCare and enjoy a lifetime of health and support. CALL 406-683-1188 TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. PRIMARY CARE CLINIC HOURS: M–F, 8:30 AM TO 5:00 PM 30 MT HWY 91 S DILLON, MT 59725




coincide with their beliefs. As a consumer do your research to assure the validity of your diagnosis or form of therapy or treatment. If you discover contradictions from reputable sources, discuss it with your therapist. It may be a simple

misunderstanding or data of which your therapist was not aware. If your therapist rejects the information, ask why and determine if the reason is valid or is based on personal opinion. If it’s preventing you from obtaining a proper diagnosis and or treatment, find a therapist that recognizes those findings. Though rare, unethical therapists have “Better Health through Better Sleep.” been known to misdiagnose for financial gain. Sleep Apnea: an easily treatable common condition, can lead to hypertension, heart disease, strokes and premaMore commonly, those with questionable ture death. If you think you have Sleep Apnea, contact your health care provider to see if a sleep evaluation may practices may recommend unnecessary, inapbe right for you. propriate, outdated, or unproven treatments. The Sleep Medicine Center That said, “Your therapist is obligated not to 406-752-1729 take advantage of you, either intentionally 1297 Burns Way • Kalispell or unintentionally through negligence or 406-862-2229 NVH • Whitefish ignorance, and to act only in your best interests,” explain Jack Engler, Ph.D. and Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. in The Consumer’s Guide to Psychotherapy: The Authoritative Guide for Making Informed Choices About All Types of Psychotherapy. MENTAL HEALTH CARE ETHICS There are certain Your planned gift to us through the NAMI Montana Trust or Montana rules set by state liCommunity Foundation, will help bring hope to generations of Montana censing divisions as families struggling with serious mental illness. well as the American Psychological Association and other mental health associations that providers must follow. Some CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE • 406-443-7871 • WWW.NAMIMT.ORG serious ethical violations you should be aware of are that mental health care providers may not: We’re here to help you • disclose

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information about you without prior written consent or even verify that you are being seen by the therapist except under certain situations, such as when child abuse is reported. • suggest that you do something that is undeniably harmful, immoral, or illegal. • treat you for or offer services that are outside his or her area of expertise. • offer experimental or unproven therapies without informing you of such. • make sexual advances whether you approve of them or not. • treat you if you have any kind of relationship with the therapist outside of therapy. • degrade you because of your values or problems or pressure you to change them. These are only some of the ethics therapists must uphold. HANDLING ETHICS VIOLATIONS AND NEGLIGENCE If you feel your rights have been violated or your therapist has treated you with negligence, there are several options according to Engler and Goleman. If the violations are minor, you might want to discuss the problem with your therapist. You can also seek a second opinion to determine whether it’s a misunderstanding or a valid complaint. If your complaint seems valid and is serious enough to warrant such, you can file a formal complaint with the appropriate ethics committee or with the state licensing or certification board. This is an important step if there’s concern that someone else might be harmed by the therapist’s practices. Finally, if your therapist acted negligently rather than simply unethically, a civil malpractice suit may be in order. Remember though, most people have positive experiences with their therapist. So just be aware of unforeseen problems and take precautionary steps, and you’ll avoid the risk of a negative experience. MSN

Flu Shots for Seniors SAVVY SENIOR WITH JIM MILLER Dear Savvy Senior, Wh t n te e t the sh ts e r seni rs t si st inter ter ettin st n r sh t n n erin i the ine r er ts r i e e etter r te ti n this e r st Dear Almost, There are actually two different flu shots the luzone igh ose and L A that are designed specifically for people age and older (you only need to get one of them). These FDA approved vaccines are designed to offer extra protection beyond what a standard flu shot provides, which is important for older adults who have weaker immune defenses and have a great risk of developing dangerous flu complications. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu puts more than 200,000 people in the hospital each year and kills, on average, about 24,000 – 80


percent of whom are seniors. You also need to be aware that these senior-specific flu shots cannot guarantee that you won’t get the flu this season, but they will lower your risk. And if you do happen to get sick, you probably won’t get as sick as you would without it. Here’s more information on the two vaccines: ne i h se Approved for U.S. use in 2009, the Fluzone High-Dose (see is a high-potency vaccine that contains four times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot does, which creates a stronger immune response for better protection. This vaccine, according to a 2013 clinical trial, was 24 percent more effective than the regular-dose shot at preventing flu


Both vaccines are also covered 100 percent by Medicare Part B, as long as your doctor, health clinic or pharmacy agrees not to charge you more than Medicare pays. PNEUMONIA VACCINES Two other important vaccinations the CDC recommends to seniors, especially this time of year, are the pneumococcal vaccines for pneumonia. Around 1 million Americans are hospitalized with pneumonia each year, and about 50,000 people die from it. The CDC is now recommending that all seniors, 65 or older, get two vaccinations – Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. Both vaccines, which are administered just once at different times, work in different ways to provide maximum protection.


Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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No Doctor’s Orders Required! Walk-In Lab No Appointment Necessary • Quicker Results • in seniors. Available in the U.S. since last year, the FLUAD vaccine ( contains an added ingredient called adjuvant MF59 that also helps create a stronger immune response. In a 2012 Canadian observational study, FLUAD was 63 percent more effective than a regular flu shot. The CDC, however, does not recommend one vaccination over the other, and to date, there have been no studies comparing the two vaccines. You should also know that both the Fluzone High-Dose and FLUAD can cause more of the mild side effects that can occur with a standard-dose flu shot, like pain or tenderness where you got the shot, muscle aches, headache or fatigue. And neither vaccine is recommended for seniors who are allergic to chicken eggs, or those who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.

If you haven’t yet received any pneumococcal vaccine you should get the Prevnar first, followed by neumova si to 12 months later. But if you’ve already been vaccinated with Pneumovax 23, wait at least one year before getting the Prevnar 13. Medicare Part B covers both shots, if they are taken at least one year apart. To locate a vaccination site that offers any of these shots, visit and type in your ZIP code. MSN

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Green for Bones BY CARRIE LUGER SLAYBACK (SENIOR WIRE) At 3:30 p.m., my 4th grade classroom quieted. Students, parents, staff cleared out, and I collapsed behind my desk, confronting the next day’s plans and pile of student papers. Shattering the first moments of silence, Ernie the custodian blasted in with his turbo-charged vacuum cleaner. Once finished

with his nerve-jangling vacuum chores, Ernie took a break to chat. He liked casinos, horse races, and cards. He found out I drank green tea and brought me a bag of genuine Japanese Green. I miss Ernie’s rakish grin, not his clanging roaring vacuum. And he had a lasting influence on my tastes all these years later, and I’m hooked on green tea’s grassy taste, hearty vege/fresh hay aroma. Yet, indulging in my hobby, reading health


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research, I gave zero credibility to the line — “tea builds bones.” No reason for disbelief, except I’m naturally skeptical. So, I expected a disclaimer when asking Google, “Does tea build bones?” Instead I ran into CL Shen’s 9000-word National Institutes of Health abstract with 185 footnotes: “Green Tea and Bone Metabolism.” The article says “Ingestion of green tea and green tea bioactive compounds may be beneficial in mitigating

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS bone loss…In general, tea…might decrease the risk of fracture by improving bone mineral density (BMD) and supporting osteoblastic activities while suppressing osteoclastic activities. [Osteoclasts build bone while osteoblasts are involved in the breakdown of bone.] My reading regarding bone mineral density suggests the superiority of dietary solutions to osteoporosis, over calcium supplementation. So, I was happy to read that green tea’s antioxidant effects comes in part from ascorbic acid naturally present in the drink. Bone loss is caused by an “imbalance between bone formation and bone resorption.” Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, kidney malfunction and age-related estrogen loss contribute to bone loss. Yikes. Shen’s article states that “Over half of postmenopausal women will experience a bone fracture as the result of osteoporosis. Similarly, one out of four osteoporosis patients is male and 30% of hip fractures occur in men.” So it is significant that, in many studies, tea drinkers had higher bone mass than non-tea drinkers. Authors quote a UK study by Hegarty in which tea drinkers showed “a decline in fracture risk of approximately 10 percent to 20 percent.” A positive relation between tea drinking, regardless of the type of tea, and BMD has also been reported among postmenopausal women in the United States, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Japan. owever due to some conflicting human results, perhaps from problems in study design, the “Green Tea…” article authors resorted to heavily controlled animal studies. In these studies, “Green tea polyphenols have been found to counteract inflammation-induced bone loss.” Specific compounds in green tea have been found to mitigate bone


loss through anti-oxidative stress action and enhancing bone growth, and suppressing bone loss probably due to [the interface between the skeletal system and the immune system.]” The article goes on, in technical detail explain the “mounting evidence that green tea contains many bioactive ingredients that support some protection against osteoporosis.” The article describes more scientific details than I can include, supporting the interaction of green tea’s particular chemical composition with mammals’ various bone building pathways. Interested? Read it. After Shen’s dense technical discussion, I retreated to Web Md’s Jeanie Lerche Davis’ easy-to-read There’s omething to be aid for Ha ing Tea ones. She begins, “Ladies, start your teapots,” selecting an English study also described by Shen. “Tea drinkers had significantly greater bone mineral density measurements. Hegarty suggests that tea has components that weakly mimic the effect of the female hormone, estrogen—documented by other researchers—and may be important in maintaining bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.” Thanks, Ernie. Your gift of pungent loose tea leaves may have helped me stave off osteoporosis for a few years. Your love of the races, casinos, and poker? I never caught on to that, which is probably explained by the fact that I’m the kind of person who reads health research for fun. MSN

Create Your Happiness Today BY LESLIE HANDLER (SENIOR WIRE) I spent part of my youth growing up in the Cayman Islands. I remember in the mid-70s, Cayman had pristine beaches, clear water, and coral within six feet off the shoreline. I would spend hours snorkeling above that coral and even became a certified diver to be able to enjoy even more sea life a little bit deeper in the ocean. There were no TVs on the island back then and very few phones. Of course this was way before cell phones existed, the internet, or any social media. When I was there, I was totally unplugged. I’m a person who easily gets sensory overload, so for me, Cayman was absolute paradise. Seven Mile, the main tourist beach on the island, had only one multi-story hotel. Everything else along the beach was private homes and condos that owners rented out to tourists. By the mid-80s, Americans began to hear about Cayman and started to flock there. The

Carrie uger laybac an a ard inning teacher and champion marathoner, shares personal e perience and careful research. Contact her at

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last time I was there was in 1986. That gorgeous seven-mile stretch of beach and shallow coral was all still there, but they had added multiple high-rise hotels, fancy restaurants, and pricey bars. TVs were everywhere as were telephones – and people, lots, and lots of people. It was no more my quiet little island. I miss it. I often tell my husband that I want to go back to Cayman, but I want to go back in 1976. Sadly, I know it can’t be done. So I remind myself that I can’t live in the past. Then there’s the future. You know, it’s that pesky thing I haven’t lived through yet, but I worry about all the time. I worry about what I’ll be doing and who I’ll be with. I worry about my future health, how my aging parents will cope, and if my children will be happy. Will my husband outlive me (I hope)? Will my parents stay healthy and happy until their last day on Earth (I hope)? Will my children have good jobs, healthy children, and a general happiness with their lives (I hope)? Sadly, again, I can’t predict the future. So I remind myself that I can’t live worrying about what will come. I’m not all that old now. I’m only edging up to 60. I feel young in my heart and in my


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soul, but my body likes to remind me of my age in subtle ways. I’m one of the fortunate ones. I’m able to move quite well despite the aging aches and pains. At this time in life, I am able to reflect on the bad stuff that’s happened in my life as well as the good. With the bad, they say that if you throw all the baggage you have on a table with all your friends, and put it all up for grabs, that you would end up taking your own crap right back again. I guess we’re just used to it. We know how to cope with what we know. That’s when the good PHOTO BY HALFPOINT, BIGSTOCK.COM comes in. By the time you’re my age, hopefully, you have learned to throw away the crap, and embrace the good. Notice I did not say forget the crap. You have to remember to protect yourself, but throwing away my wish to go back to the Cayman that was, to live through the crap of the past, or even to keep stressing on what will be in the future does me no good. I can’t change either the past or the future. I’ve learned to try very hard to live for now. I try to keep up with new technology including the use of my computer and social media, but my lessons of the past taught me that even though I can’t go back to an unplugged Cayman, I CAN unplug right here at home. I CAN throw away my anxiety over the future by planning new adventures, and I CAN enjoy the here and now…this moment.

I can enjoy writing this essay, being at my desk, having the company of my dogs at my side, and seeing the beautiful day it is today, right now, right this moment. I don’t want to be the old woman who tells the same stories of her past over and over again and believing that things were only good in my youth. I don’t want to be the woman who does nothing but stress over things I cannot change in the future. I want to be the woman who socializes with other people and is found to be interesting and up with what’s happening today. I don’t want to be 20 again (except for my physical body – that would be quite nice). I love the lessons I’ve learned in life. Those lessons only come with the life experience of aging. I wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything, but I also want to live for today. As all decades past, present, and future, there will be the good with the bad. My wish is that I’ve learned well how to cope with the bad and throw it away so that I have lots of room for the good in each current day. Won’t you join me in enjoying today? MSN eslie Handler is a nationally syndicated columnist and 20 5 a ard inner of ational ociety of e spaper Columnists. and eslie oes

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Easy Ways to Cut Back on Sugar (StatePoint) Nationwide, 30 million children and adults have diabetes, and 86 million are prediabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Take steps to decrease your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A leading risk factor for Type 2 diabetes is being overweight. But the good



news is, according to the ADA, losing just seven percent of your body weight can decrease that risk by 58 percent. One way to manage your weight is to cut back on sugar, which can often be a sneaky source of weight gain. Before getting started, it’s important to remember that many healthy foods naturally contain sugar, a carbohydrate your body burns for energy. Processed sugars are different,

adding calories that provide no other nutritional benefit, and at e cessive levels, disrupting your metabolism, and potentially posing serious health risks. The USDA’s dietary guidelines recommend that added sugar account for less than ten percent of your daily calories—that’s a maximum of 50 grams a day for average women and 62.5 grams for men. To keep your sugar consumption in the healthy range, Courtney McCormick, C o r p o r a t e Dietitian at Nutrisystem offers the following tips: • Hold the Ketchup. You know baked goods and candy are loaded with added sugar, but so are many foods you may not think of as especially sweet. A tablespoon of ketchup, for instance, has four grams of sugar. Salsa, barbecue sauce, spaghetti sauce and even bread are hidden sources of sugar. • Sweeten with Spices. Replace sugar from coffee, hot cereal and other foods with spices that have a naturally sweet taste, such as vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom, instead.


• Flavor Your Water. A 12-ounce can of soda has as much as 40 grams of added sugar. Skip the soda and drink water sweetened with fresh fruit and herbs, like strawberries and basil or lime and mint. • Start with Plain. The fruit in the bottom of your yogurt can come with 25 or more grams of added sugar. Buy plain yogurt and add your own fresh or dried fruit. • Snack on Fruit. One cup of blueberries, for example, has seven grams of natural sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth, but the fruit also comes with fiber to help you feel full and slow the breakdown of the sugars, so you don’t crave more calories soon after eating it. • Bake with Applesauce. Eating fewer baked goods is sure to reduce your sugar intake, but when the occasion calls for you to make a cake, replace a third of the sugar in the recipe with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. For a delicious no-sugar added applesauce recipe, visit recipes. • Eat Right and Often. When you’re hungry, you crave calories and that too often leads to sugary snacking. Reduce between-meal munching by eating healthy, filling foods four to six times a day. Programs like Nutrisystem provide portion-controlled meals and snacks throughout the day, giving you the structure you need to eat right. This year, make small swaps to reduce your sugar intake and more easily manage your weight. MSN

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When the loved one they have been living with passes away, many older adults face the challenge of learning to live alone—often for the first time. If there was a division of labor with their partner, they must either learn new life skills—cooking, for example—or obtain help. If their spouse was the more physically or mentally able of the pair, living independently may pose special challenges. If you have a parent or other close relative who is new to living alone, read on for some areas of potential concern and how to help. HELPING TIPS Medication management—Request a medication review by your relative’s primary physician, to determine if all prescription medications are necessary. Ask their pharmacist about available aids for remembering to take medications. Nutrition—Set up a schedule to take your relative grocery shopping, arrange for a grocery delivery service, stock their freezer with heat-and-serve foods, or arrange for “meals on wheels.” f they find it hard to eat alone, look into communal dining programs, and have them over for dinner. Household maintenance—Arrange for regular housecleaning service and, if applicable, yard maintenance service. If your relative has limited income, they may qualify for a subsidized community program. Consult the local office on aging, an excellent source of information on community services. Transportation— If they don’t drive (or shouldn’t), provide your relative with a bus pass or taxi gift vouchers, or investigate volunteer driver

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programs for seniors. f necessary, find out about local accessible transportation services. Vision—Ask your relative’s doctor for a referral to an ophthalmologist. If nothing can be done to improve their vision, get them a magnifier for reading small print and other adaptive items, such as a large keypad, programmable telephone and clock with oversized numbers. Falls—Perform a safety assessment of your relative’s home to identify potential hazards, and do what you can to rectify them. Visit a medical supply store, and check out the many products that might make daily activities easier and safer. Sign up your relative with a personal emergency response service, whereby they wear a lightweight, waterproof pendant or bracelet that has a button to press for crisis assistance. Finances—If money management is an issue, arrange for direct deposit of pension checks and automatic bill payment from your relative’s bank account. Assist them with contacting a lawyer to assign power of attorney for property to someone they trust. If they’re e periencing financial hardship living solo, ensure they apply for all possible government and private benefits, such as survivor’s pensions and income supplements. If necessary, assist them with taking in a boarder or moving to a less costly type of housing. If your relative has cognitive impairment and their partner was compensating, deficits may now be more pronounced or apparent for the first time. f so, arrange through their primary physician for a geriatric assessment. Research home supports, such as telephone reassurance services, therapeutic day care programs, and home health services that offer personal care, homemaking, nursing, dietary consultation, physical and occupational therapy, and social work. A live-in caregiver is another option if finances permit. If your relative needs more help than community programs can provide and can’t afford private-pay services, options include moving them in with you or another family member and finding a residential care setting that meets their needs. If feelings of isolation and loneliness are the main concern, your relative may wish to consider sharing accommodations with a friend, relocating to an active adult community or, if their health is frail, moving to a retirement home. MSN isa . etsche is a social or er and a freelance riter specializing in family life. he has personal e perience ith elder care and ith helping ido ed lo ed ones.


ging s Na ural BY THE MONTANA ELDER ABUSE TASK FORCE Did you know that every day 10,000 people turn 65 in the United States alone? According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that trend is going to continue for the next 20 years. Montana is aging at a faster rate than most of the other States in the Union. The 2010 U.S. Census showed that Montana’s 65 and older population was at 13.4 percent while the U.S. is at 12.1 percent. Over the next 18 years, 12,775 Montanans will turn 65 every year. U.S census projections indicated that by 2030, Montana is expected to rank at least 5th in the nation in the percentage of people over the age of 65. In Montana, abuse, neglect, or exploitation generally refer to any physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, or financial e ploitation of an older or disabled person, either within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust or when an older person is targeted based on age or disability. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 90 percent of the abuse is perpetrated by a relative, most often an adult child, spouse or partner, caregiver, or person in a position of authority (i.e. guardians, lawyers, or interpreters) within the home. In some instances, older adults may be targeted by strangers and become victims of sexual assault, stalking, or financial e ploitation, but most are very well known by the adult. Elder abuse affects individuals of all races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, social classes, geographic areas, faith communities, mental capacities, and physical abilities. As the population grows, we know that a startling number of elders face abusive conditions. very year an estimated five million older Americans are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Unfortunately, for every individual case reported, about 24 cases are left unreported. These rates are rising, and Montana is no exception. Last year in Montana, Adult Protective Services reported a 5 percent increase in calls involving abuse, neglect or exploitation—just over 6,000 calls. Helena’s domestic and sexual violence center (The Friendship Center) reports a yearly 1 percent growth in clients aged 60 or older. Due to the state’s rapidly growing aging population, the Montana Board of Crime Control has been awarded the nhanced Training and er ices to nd Abuse in ater ife TS ALL grant from the Office on iolence Against Women and National Clearinghouse of Abuse in Later Life. The ETSEALL Program has been developed to increase and strengthen training for police, prosecutors, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of abuse, neglect, exploitation, domestic violence, and sexual assault against older individuals (50 and older). This collaborative, three-year project will provide and enhance services for older victims, bringing together local partners—Adult



use s No

Protective Services, the Attorney General’s planning, and more, visit: Office, ig Sky Senior Services, The riendship IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS Center, the Division of Criminal Investigation, BEING HARMED, PLEASE CONTACT: and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Together, Adult Protective Services: 1-844-277-9300 these agencies have created the Montana The Friendship Center: (free confidential Elder Abuse Task Force. crisis line): 406 442-6800 This Task Force is committed to reducing— National Domestic Violence Hotline: and ultimately eliminating—elder abuse, ne1-800-799-7233 glect, and exploitation National Sexual Assault Hotline: in Montana. It strives 1-800-656-4673 to provide state resIf cases of emergency, contact 911. MSN idents aged 50 and older an environment that is free from physical and mental abuse “Care You Can Trust” Assisted Living of the mind or body, and free from criminal Family Friendly Environment exploitation by others. Full Licensed • RN in House or On Call The group will lead Home Cooked Meals • Emergency Call System the charge in estabCheck us out on Facebook lishing a Coordinated Located in the heart of Stillwater Valley Community Response Glenn or Tess Shipp • Absarokee • 406-328-7361 (CCR) for senior victims and will provide cross-training for law enforcement, prosecutors, state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, faithbased advocates, victim service providers, courts, and tribal communities. Due to grant limitations, the Task Force will focus efforts within Broadwater, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Meagher, and Yellowstone counties until further expansion is possible. To learn more about joining the Coordinated Community Response team or learn about training opportunities, please contact project coordinator Victoria Green at Montana communities need to work together to address these very important issues affecting our aging population because many of our aging population are at risk of abuse. Victims often experience shame, pain, economic loss, spiritual and physical anguish, institutionalization, and poor quality of SPECIALIZING IN DEMENTIA /ALZHEIMER’S CARE life. Aging is natuRobin Cislo Fleek-Owner/Administrator ral, but abuse is not. Toget h er , w e c an Sapphire House • Ruby House • Emerald House end abuse in later life. For more in811 2nd Avenue South, Great Falls formation about red @ flags of abuse, safety


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Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about body donation r r s With itt e t n s in s looking for a free or cheap way to dispose of my body after I die. Old and Broke Dear Broke, If you’re looking to eliminate your funeral and burial costs, as well as help advance medical research, donating your body to science is a great option to consider. Here’s what you should know. BODY DONATIONS It’s estimated that each year, at least 20,000 people donate their whole body, after death, to medical facilities throughout the country, to be used in medical research projects, anatomy lessons, and PHOTO /BIGSTOCK.COM surgical practice. After using your body, these facilities will then provide free cremation—which typically costs $600 to $4,000—and will either bury or scatter your ashes in a local cemetery or return them to your family, usually within a year or two. And, just in case you’re wondering, your family will not be paid for the use of your body. Federal and state laws prohibit it. Here are a few other things you need to know and check into, to help you determine whether whole-body donation is right for you: Acceptance rules: Most body donation programs will not accept bodies that are extremely obese, or

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those that have infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, H.I.V. or MRSA. Bodies that suffered extensive trauma won’t be accepted either. Organ donation: Most programs require that you donate your whole body in its entirety. So if you want to be an organ donor (with the exception of your eyes), you won’t qualify to be a whole body donor too. Special requests: Most programs will not allow you to donate your body for a specific purpose. ou give them the body, and they decide how to use it. Memorial options: Most programs require almost immediate transport of the body after death, so there’s no funeral. If your family wants a memorial service, they can have one without the body. Some programs offer memorial services at their facility at a later date without the remains. Body transporting: Most programs will cover transporting your body to their facility within a certain distance; however, some may charge. WHAT TO DO If you think you want to donate your body, it’s best to make arrangements in advance with a body donation program in your area. Most programs are offered through university-affiliated medical schools. To find one near you, the University of Florida maintains a list of U.S. programs and their contact information at usprograms. In addition to the medical schools, private organizations, like BioGift ( and Science Care (, accept whole body donations too. Some of these organizations will even allow organ donation because they deal in body parts as well as whole cadavers. If you don’t have Internet access, you can get help by calling the National Family Service

Home Care Services, LLC

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who we are

Home Care Services is a Montana, non-profit corporation which has a charitable purpose, “To Advance the Quality of Home Care in the State of Montana.”

why choose us • Local offices across Montana; caregivers close to you. • Part of your community: we’re your neighbors! • Over 30 years experience providing in-home health care. • Over 100 hours of advanced caregiver training available. • In-home personal care, waiver services, & community first choice service. • Self-directed services (for qualifying consumers) as HomeCare Montana.

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DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS Desk, which operates a free body donation referral service during business hours at 800-727-0700. Once you locate a program in your area, call and ask them to mail you an information/ registration packet that will explain exactly how their program works. To sign up, you’ll simply need to complete a couple forms, and return them. But, you can


always change your mind by contacting the program and removing your name from their registration list. Some programs may ask that you make your withdrawal in writing. After you’ve made arrangements, you’ll need to tell your family members, so they will know what to do and who to contact after your death. It’s also a good idea to tell your doctors, so they know your final wishes too. MSN


end your senior uestions to a y enior, . . o 5443, orman, K 73070, or isit a y im iller is a contributor to the NBC Today sho and author of The Savvy Senior.

When Will Medicaid Pay for Nursing Home Care? SAVVY SENIOR WITH JIM MILLER Dear Savvy Senior, What are the eligibility requirements to get Medicaid coverage for n rsin h e re Caregiving Daughter Dear Caregiving, The rules and requirements for Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care are complicated and will vary according to the state where your parent lives. With that said, here’s a general, simplified rundown of what it takes to qualify. MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY Medicaid, the joint federal and state program that covers health care for the poor, is also the largest single payer of America’s nursing home bills for seniors who don’t have the resources to pay for their own care. Most people who enter nursing homes don’t qualify for Medicaid at first, but pay for care either through long-term care insurance or out-of-pocket until they deplete their savings and become eligible for Medicaid. To qualify for Medicaid, your parent’s income and assets will need to be under a certain level that’s determined by their state. Most states require that a person have no more than about $2,000 in countable assets, which include cash, savings, investments or other financial resources that can be turned into cash. Assets that aren’t counted for eligibility include their home if it’s valued under $560,000 (this limit is higher—up to $840,000—in some

states), their personal possessions and household goods, one vehicle, prepaid funeral plans, and a small amount of life insurance. But be aware that while your parent’s home is not considered a countable asset to determine their eligibility, if he or she can’t return home, Medicaid can go after the proceeds of their house to help reimburse their nursing home costs, unless a spouse or other dependent relative lives there. (some other exceptions apply to this rule.) After qualifying, all sources of your parent’s income, such as Social Security and pension checks must be turned over to Medicaid to pay for their care, except for a small personal needs allowance—usually between $30 and $90. You also need to be aware that your parent can’t give away their assets to ualify for edicaid faster. edicaid officials will look at their financial records going back five years to root out suspicious asset transfers. f they find one, their edicaid coverage will be delayed a certain length of time, according to a formula that divides the transfer amount by the average monthly cost of nursing home care in their state. So if, for example, your parent lives in a state where the average monthly nursing home cost is $5,000 and they gave away cash or other assets worth , , they would be ineligible for benefits for 10 months ($50,000 divided by $5,000 = 10). SPOUSAL PROTECTION Medicaid also has special rules for married couples when one spouse enters a nursing home and the other spouse remains at home. In




these cases, the healthy spouse can keep one half of the couple’s assets up to $120,900 (this amount varies by state), the family home, all the furniture and household goods and one automobile. The healthy spouse is also entitled to keep a portion of the couple’s monthly income—between $2,030 and $3,022. Any income above that goes toward the cost of the nursing home recipient’s care. WHAT ABOUT MEDICARE? Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors 65 and older, and some

younger people with disabilities, does not pay for long-term care. It only helps pay up to 100 days of rehabilitative nursing home care, which must occur after a hospital stay. FIND HELP For more detailed information, contact your state edicaid office see for contact information). You can also get help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see, which provides free counseling on all Medicare and Medicaid issues.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more info, ontana residence may contact the ontana Health nsurance Assistance rogram H at 800 55 -3 , or may isit the D HH H eb page http dphhs. mt.go sltc ser ices aging H ship . ontana edicaid members ith uestions may contact the ontana D HH edicaid help line at 800 362-83 2. MSN end your senior uestions to a y enior, . . o 5443, orman, K 73070, or isit a y im iller is a contributor to the NBC Today sho and author of The a y enior.

Considering Costs of Long-Term Insurance BY DEBBIE CARLSON, CHICAGO TRIBUNE (TNS) Health care costs are rising rapidly, and for older adults or people who need help with some daily activities, costs can easily run thousands of dollars. A 2015 cost of care survey from insurance company Genworth Financial estimated the national median cost of care for a home health aide is $45,760 annually, while the national median cost for a private nursing room home is $91,250 annually. With costs like that, some people are turning to long-term care insurance to cover these bills. People who are considering purchasing this insurance should know it’s costly, is very complex, and not everyone will qualify. We hit some key points that potential buyers should keep in mind. TALK TO PROFESSIONALS Financial planner Lacey Manning, founder of LTG Financial in Ocala, Fla., said people should speak to an estate planner, elder law attorneys, and accountants, to see if these policies make financial sense. They can look at a person’s assets and any other coverage he or she may have from Medicare, Medicaid, and other state and federal programs designed to support the sick and elderly.

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The reason many people opt for these policies is that they have some financial assets they want to be ueath rather than use that money in case they are sick, said Martin Grace, the Harry Cochran professor of risk at Temple University. For people without a lot of assets, these policies are too costly, said Mary Alice Hughes, insurance agent at Insurance Advantage & LMA Financial Services in Jacksonville, Ark. People who own a home and have more than $250,000 in other assets can better afford these policies. “If you only have $200,000 in the bank, then you don’t need longterm care insurance because...the premiums are going to eat into that money,” Hughes said. COSTS These policies are not cheap, but they are less expensive for younger and healthier people. Grace and Hughes said the cheapest options are for people in their s without any significant illnesses. olicies are designed so that buyers purchase a set amount of benefit for a certain time frame. Most policies allow buyers access to a pool of money for three or four years. For example, a healthy person in her 40s may buy a policy with a , monthly benefit for months four years , which gives her access to a total of $336,000. This type of policy costs anywhere from $200 to $225 a month, about $2,500 a year, Hughes said. Buyers can add riders, such as inflation protection, so that their benefits grow by 4 percent to keep up with the cost of living. The premiums can go up significantly as people age, Grace said, which is why someone buying a policy in their 40s will spend less than someone in their 50s or 60s. “The premiums almost double from your 40s to your 50s to your 60s. It’s really substantial,” Grace said, adding that he recently bought a policy himself and went through this process. Because premiums can rise, the buyer needs to think about whether he will have future assets to cover premium increases, Hughes said. Some policies have optional nonforfeiture riders buyers can purchase that will protect what they paid for if they no longer can afford the premiums. “They don’t get the money back, but they just are assured they can use what they have paid,” Hughes said. These policies require medical underwriting, Grace and Hughes said, and having illnesses will increase the cost. “There are a lot of situations where ... the agent won’t even take an application. Cognitive impairment —dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s will definitely knock you out,” ughes said. WHAT THEY COVER Long-term care policies don’t last forever. They last as long as the money purchased by the policy is available, usually three or four years. Once they end, people need to tap their other assets if they still need care. The policies kick in when someone needs help with two or more daily activities, like bathing or dressing, Hughes said, after a waiting period. They can be used for short-term events in which a doctor expects the person’s care to last 90 days or more, or they can be used for when someone enters a permanent facility. t’s also important to look at how the benefits are structured, whether the buyer gets a daily ma imum benefit or a monthly benefit, anning said. aily benefits cap how much the person can withdraw on a daily basis, while monthly benefits let the person tap funds as needed during the month to the monthly limit. f the daily benefit is only a day, that’s different than a , monthly benefit,” even though the money is the same, she said. MSN




5 Surprising Facts about Pneumonia

(StatePoint) Pneumonia can strike anywhere and anytime, the American Lung Association reminds us. A serious, potentially life-threatening lung infection, pneumonia is primarily caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi that are transmitted from one person to another. The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is pneumococcal pneumonia. 1. Pneumococcal pneumonia can be serious. If you are 65 or older, your risk of being hospitalized after getting pneumococcal pneumonia is 13 times greater than for younger adults aged 18-49, and for those requiring hospitalization, they have an average hospital stay of six days. In severe cases, pneumococcal pneumonia can lead to death. Symptoms typically have an abrupt onset and may include coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, high fever, excessive sweating and shaking chills. 2. It doesn’t happen only during winter. Pneumococcal pneumonia is not a cold or the flu you can get it any time of the year. Although rates of pneumococcal pneumonia tend to increase in the fall and winter months, cold air does not cause pneumonia, including pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal

pneumonia can be spread by coughing or close contact with an infected person, no matter the season. 3. Even healthy adults are at increased risk. One of the most important things to know is that for adults, risk increases with age as our immune system weakens and can’t respond as effectively to infection. Which means that otherwise healthy and active adults are at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. 4. Chronic health conditions can also lead to increased risk. Other factors, like your lifestyle and certain chronic health conditions, can also increase your risk. Smoking, alcoholism and certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a suppressed immune system, increase your risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. In fact, for adults 65 and older living with COPD, the risk for contracting pneumococcal pneumonia is 7.7 times higher than their healthy counterparts, and those with asthma are at 5.9 times greater risk. 5. The good news: You may be able to reduce your personal risk. As a preventive healthcare measure, vaccines work by teaching the body’s immune system to recognize and defend against harmful viruses or bacteria before getting an infection, and reduce the chance of getting certain infectious diseases. But rates of vaccination among U.S. adults remain low, lagging well behind expert recommendations and federal goals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization

Hopelessness and Thoughts of Suicide are Not A Normal Part of Aging Well-being tends to increase with age, but growing older also presents new challenges: transitioning into retirement, losing friends and family, and facing health conditions like like diabetes and heart disease. These stressors can trigger the onset of a mental health condition, even if you’ve never suffered from one before. ASSUME YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO WILL REACH OUT Whether you’re suffering from a mental health condtion, or you’re worried about a friend or family member—don’t wait for someone else to reach out. Even people close to you may not be able to see that you’re suffering, so it’s important to take that first step. Likewise, if you’re worried about someone else, let them know you care, ask them directly about suicide, work with them to temporarily remove lethal means, and encourage them to seek treatment.

RESOURCES FOR ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES The Montana Department of Health and Human Services website ( amdd/Mentalhealthservices) provides contact information on the various publicly funded programs and services they oversee across the state. offers contact information for suicide hotlines available around the state. You may view, by city, which number to call from each location. The site also provides an extensive listings of articles and information pertaining to suicide issues. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( has a Suicide Prevention Line, 1-800-273-TALK, that includes a special connection for Veterans (just dial 1 on the prompt). Other sources of help include primary care providers, local psychiatric hospitals, walk-in clinics, emergency departments and urgent care centers. Call 911 for emergencies MSN

Practices recommends that all adults 65 years or older receive pneumococcal vaccination. If you are 65 or older, talk to your doctor to see if you are up to date on your CDCrecommended adult vaccinations, and take a personal risk assessment at pneumococcal, developed by the American Lung Association in partnership with fizer. This year, brush up on the signs and risk factors of pneumococcal pneumonia, as well as strategies for prevention, particularly as you age. MSN





Banish Winter Woes with Festivals! the deep winter doldrums? Why festivals, of course! Here’s a short list of some to sample this winter. I love the crazy, busy time of all the holFire and Ice Winterfest, always held the idays in December and look forward to them first full weekend of ebruary, shows that every year. But January and February loom the Idaho town of Lava Hot Springs knows bleakly in the future, just when days are dark how to throw a party! and spring seems a long way off. Solution to Beginning this year on Friday, Feb. 2 with wine tasting, and moving on to a family friendly movie at the indoor pool (bring January 27–February 10 Featuring Alabama & Mississippi Hilites-Vicksyour flotation toys , burg Battlefield, Natchez Antebellum homes, bingo and a comedy Guided tours of Jackson & Montgomery, Alabama night show, the event Music Hall of Fame & Studio Tours, Corvette is off to a great start. Museum, the all new ARK Encouter, Saturday brings the & so much more! Superhero Endurance Swim at the indoor pool a children’s waJuly 6–15 ter carnival a polar An always popular tour-fills up fast! float parade, re uiring daring entrants PHOTO BY HOLLY ENDERSBY to float down the bone-chilling Portneuf River, in costume preferably a chili contest and tasting a torch September 7–15 light parade with skiers from Lava Flow Fire Featuring Halifax, the Cabot Trail zipping down the mountain with glowing & Prince Edward Island. Note: this is not a motorcoach tour. torches, followed by performances of dance, acrobatics, and music with fire. Saturday’s last event is the ever-popular Casino Night More tours & details available for Twenty-one and Texas Hold ‘Em. Sunday online or by following us on Facebook wraps up with the not-to-be-missed Running of the Bulls, showcasing the daring, and just 800-440-2690 plain crazy, running down Main Street in swimsuits and flip flops as they head to the finish line and a long hot springs soak. Whitefish Winter Carnival has someto Coeur d’Alene Casino thing for everyone. Feb 9–11, Apr 20–22, Jun 15–17 Two days before the main festival, the $134 each Double O Occupancy Oc ccupan cupanccy town of Whitefish, Includes transportation & 2-night accommodations. Board bus in Butte, Mont., hosts the Helena, Missoula; other stops upon request. world Skijoring Championships. This event involves es or mules pulling skiers behind them on a course, including launching them over jumps. It’s great fun to watch, so come DIAMOND DESTINATIONS early, and enjoy this Travel & More unique competition. The festival begins in March 4, 2018: Great Trains & Grand Canyons earnest February 2, April 30, 2018: Paris in the Spring, Burgundy & Provence River Cruise (Wait List) and a hockey tourSeptember 2018: TBA Exploring Seattle, Victoria & more nament will be in full swing throughout the October 2, 2018: Munich’s Oktoberfest & Danube weekend as will the October 5, 2018: Alburquerque Balloon Fiesta annual ski races. Ice CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS sculpting is an evHELENA MISSOULA er-popular event as is Luncheon at the Radison at Montana Club on Brooks the notorious Penguin Tuesday 12.12.17 12:00 pm Thursday 12.14.17 4:00 pm Plunge, where normally sane people Cheryl 406-465-5742 • Joanie 406-439-3415 CALL US FOR MORE INFORMATION! jump into freezing BY HOLLY ENDERSBY

Whitefish Lake. Food is not to be ignored this weekend, either. The Carnival starts with a Gala Friday night at the Whitefish Lake Restaurant, and the following day features a delicious pie social. Try eating just one slice… bet you can’t!

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This year marks the 53rd Winter Carnival in McCall, Idaho, and organizers are keeping their fingers crossed that everything will be in place for an Iditarod qualifying race. The route and final plans are being firmed up, so keep an eye on their website for updates. Twelve dog teams are expected to run over approximately 150 miles, depending on the final route. The festival runs from the last weekend of anuary through the first weekend of February and is wildly popular, so make hotel bookings as soon as possible. The first Friday features the opening ceremony, a kid’s torchlight parade, and spectacular fireworks over beautiful Payette Lake. The Mardi Gra Parade is Saturday as are the snowbike races. Both weekends feature live music at various venues. Sunday’s benefit for c aw’s, the local dog and cat shelter, has a hilarious monster-dog pull contest, featuring every weight class imaginable. Dogs of various sizes pull weighted sleds on marked lanes on the lake with all the registration money going to McPaw’s. Yearly favorites like the olar lunge benefit for the local fire department and the popular Monte Carlo night are big draws. The Idaho State Snow Sculpting Competition brings thousands of visitors to see the fantastic frozen art. In addition, the snow sculptures scattered around businesses in town are a special treat every year. There are many other activities and events during the two weeks of the carnival, so be sure to check their website for more information. Moving away from snow-centric events, Lewistown, Mont., hosts the 73rd Montana Winter Fair, where all things agricultural are on display. The third weekend in January brings those who love the agricultural life to enjoy a host of activities, from the popular fiddle contest, a hotly contested chili cook-off, a Dutch-oven cooking competition, a snowmobile “shootout,” and a homebrew tasting. Every year kids compete in the Youth Feeder Steer and All Breed Heifer Show

DECEMBER 2017 // JANUARY 2018 • MONTANA SENIOR NEWS while events like Team Sorting focus on skills ranchers need. Dogs are put through their paces in the Canine Good Citizen Dog Show. Equestrians will be happy to know a Natural Horsemanship Clinic will be at this year’s fair. Annual events include the quilt show, photography show, fiber arts show, and pinewood derby. The Lewistown Bow Hunters are hosting a fun shoot. Be sure to mark January 25-28 on your calendar. The Sandpoint Winter Carnival in northern Idaho has a unique focus on music of all types and runs February 16-25. Allthough people flock to the various outdoor events like the ever-popular K-9 Keg Pull, and Schweitzer Ski Resort’s kid’s parade, fireworks, and snowshoeing hikes—the amazing music options are the main draw. Every day of the festival offers at least one music venue, often paired with wine, beer, and good food. Some activities are for those 21 and older, such as the Valentine’s Day Singles Speed Dating event in the Beer Hall, followed by a rousing and hilarious Cards Against Humanity tournament. At last count, 27 musical offerings are on the agenda, ranging from jazz to rock to reggae to classical. A vaudeville production, complete with dinner, is an event supporting


the Bonner County History Museum and requires reservations, so don’t delay: it will sell out. A Parade of Lights is held on the 17th, complete with outrageous floats, marching groups, and, of course, snow shovel brigades. MickDuff’s Brewing Company hosts the annual Cornhole Tournament on the 18th, and the 25th features the Winter Beerfest and Pub Crawl. Pair that with wine tasting at the Pend O’Reille Winery, and you have the makings of a terrific winter carnival. SnoFlinga, January 18-21 in Butte, Mont., is this city’s answer to the winter blues. The town’s 400-meter outdoor skating oval, the High Altitude Skating Center, features free skating for all on Friday evening. Rental skates are available for a small fee. The next day features Elementary Kids Skate Races. The Homestake Lodge in nearby Whitehall is the site of free Nordic ski lessons on Saturday as well as open skiing from all day, with an afternoon snowshoe tour that meets at the lodge. The Homestake Lodge features 35 kilometers of groomed tracks, including 15 kilometers of dog-friendly skiing. The Mountain Con Mine features a 5k fun run and 1k kids run on Saturday as well. Sunday brings festival goers back to Whitehall in the morning for

Experience the Past of the Nimi’ipuu


adult and youth Nordic racing. Skyline Park in Butte is the place to go for the Fat Bike Races and demos: if you haven’t tried bike riding in the snow, then be sure to check out this event. Butte’s youth hockey team, the Copper City Kings, offers hockey demonstrations and lessons throughout the weekend as well as an exhibition of curling. So, for all things snow, head to Butte and SnoFlinga! MSN

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AT THE NEZ PERCE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK VISITOR CENTER BY JACK MCNEEL The exhibits on display at the Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor Center are spectacular, dealing with the culture and history of the Nimi’ipuu, or Nez Perce, people. Anyone with an interest in Native American history and particularly this tribe should


plan a visit to the visitor center, with free admission. It’s located about 11 miles east of Lewiston, Idaho, alongside Highway 95 and adjacent to the Clearwater River. The tribe historically used the name Nimi’ipuu, which translates to “real people” or “we the people.” The Lewis and Clark Expedition gave the name Nez Perce through an interpreter, which translates in French as “pierced nose.” The tribe is increasingly returning to the Nimi’ipuu name in preference to Nez Perce. The visitor center sits atop a low ridge overlooking the Clearwater River and adjacent to the old community of Spalding, with a church dating to 1876, a cemetery of that same era, and a few other buildings. Upon entering the visitor center, you have

an opportunity to view the One Heart movie. Brett Spaulding, Supervisory Park Ranger, explained this is a relatively new version, about 23 minutes in length, and a good overview of the Nez Perce people. The visitor center museum has numerous exhibits, showPRESENTED BY:

casing beaded items, cornhusk bags, clothing, basketry, headdresses, and wooden horses adorned with a variety of tribal items. “When you walk into the museum portion, you’re going to walk into a time warp where you’re transported back to the 1800s,” explained Spaulding. “What you don’t get is a sense that the Nez Perce are still here and still thriving.” Planning is

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underway for a new museum that will intermix the new with the old, sharing Nez Perce history up to the present time. “That’s the most exciting change planned for the visitor center in the future,” he added. No precise time has been set for the new museum, but most likely it will occur sometime in 2019. Indigenous people have lived in this area for at least 11,000 years. The overall National Historical Park actually covers portions of four states with 38 different sites. The creation Story and the role of Coyote lives on, and the “Heart of the Monster” is visible eastward along the Clearwater River. Spaulding also recommended that visitors get out to the many sites throughout the park. “In the summer, usually starting about Memorial Day and ending around Labor day, rangers here will give programs about different events that occurred in this area.” Hopefully that will get people to visit these sites, which include such places as Buffalo ddy, the Whitebird attlefield site, eart of the Monster, Canoe Camp, and others. If you’re going to be in the vicinity of Lewiston and have interest in native history, the Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor Center should be on your “to do” list. MSN

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An old joke posited that Idaho has not one, but two capitals: Salt Lake City and Spokane. Boiseans rightly grimace at that suggestion, but they aren’t the only ones offended. Idaho Falls is emerging as a cultural capital in its own right, anchored by a formidable institution, the Museum of Idaho (MOI). MOI features immersive regional, national, and international exhibits on history and science, such as “Bodies: The Exhibition.” It’s even more impressive, considering it’s a small-city nonprofit that receives very little government funding. True to its mission, MOI has brought the world to Idaho, and Idaho to the world. And now, it’s growing. A 26,000-foot expansion, nearly doubling the size of the current facility, will break ground in spring 2018. Among other things, the


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larger space will allow the Museum to expand and modernize its Idaho and regional history offerings. But you don’t have to wait for the expansion to enjoy world-class exhibitions. MOI’s next traveling exhibit is “Dinosaurs in Motion: Where Art and Science Meet,” which runs from January 26 to April 22, 2018. The exhibit features 14 fully interactive dinosaur and bird sculptures, which visitors can manipulate via lever-and-pulley systems and remote controls. To contribute to the Museum of Idaho’s new regional history exhibits, educational programs for underserved communities, or anything else, please call Nick Gailey at (208) or visit donate. MSN



All About Montana


From Fox Trots to Trolls

CHRIS AND ROZ KRISTOFFERSEN KEEP THE FLATHEAD SMILING BY GAIL JOKERST When Arvid “Chris” Kristoffersen met his future wife, Roslyn, at Kalispell’s Eagles Club, the first thing he noticed were her etty-Grable legs. The first thing Roz noticed about Chris when he asked her to dance was his accent. “Svensk or Norsk?” she inquired. The answer was definitively orsk” as Chris hails from Kragero, Telemark, a small Norwegian seaport. Although he moved to the U.S. over 60 years ago, Chris’s lilting accent has not faded with the years, nor has his love for depicting the folk art and magical creatures of his native Norway. Ever since boyhood, Chris has focused his talents on capturing the spirit of Norway’s trolls in sketches, paintings, and woodcarvings—a passion he inherited from his artist mother. And while these trolls with their long-reddened noses, big ears, and missing teeth certainly qualify as ugly, they also happen to be happy trolls and surprisingly cute. That appeals to Chris’s sense of humor and is the only way he imagines them, despite their reputation for misbehaving if treated disrespectfully. “In the old days, people claimed trolls really existed and used to be scared of them. They thought if you left them a kettle of porridge at night it would bring good luck and good crops,” explained Chris, who attended art school at the University of Oslo and in Minneapolis. “But if you were mean and tried to chase them away, you would get bad crops and bad milk from your cows.” According to Chris, Norwegians of his generation grew up hearing legends about trolls, which he equates to being, “a kind of Scandinavian Bigfoot or Boogeyman, not scary, but useful for telling stories.” Considering that trolls can have from one to 12 heads and vary in appearance as much as humans, Chris has had a never-ending source of inspiration to ignite his artistic imagination. Observing older people and sketching their faces on a scrap of paper has often spurred him to render those whimsical impressions in wood or with paints. “When I crumble a napkin, I can see a troll face in it, can’t you?” asked Chris, who believes that artists should be keen observers of the world and of its inhabitants. Chris’s work, both its serious and playful sides, has been recognized in various ways. He was the sub ect of a S orthwest rofiles special was voted orway’s umber two airy-Tale artist of all time and was even asked to present his work to Walt Disney Studios—an invitation he felt reluctant to accept at the time. However, the accomplishment he is proudest of is the rosemaled mural he painted for Fargo-Moorhead’s Sons of Norway Kringen Lodge. It measures 96 by 8 feet and depicts 22 carved trolls including Nikolina, a 700-year-old spinster troll in need of a husband. Chris’s wife, Roz, is an artist in her own right, as well. But her artistry comes through


her feet—to say nothing of her hips—rather than her fingers. A professional dance instructor, Roz has taught Montanans to salsa, waltz, line dance, jitterbug, and two-step for almost 35 years. “I started teaching after I was divorced in 1983 and didn’t want to sit home. So I took a dance class at Flathead Valley Community College,” recalled Roz. “The instructor saw I could dance. At first, he asked me to help the other students. Then he recruited me to take his place when he moved away.” The decision to teach was an easy one for her to make. A dancer since the age of four, Roz learned social dancing from her mom, a denizen of Arthur Murray Dance Studios. “Whenever she mastered a new step, she came home and taught it to me,” said Roz, who introduced line dancing to the Flathead and has taught as many as 100 people at a time those moves. “Line dancing is great because you don’t need a partner. And if you’re a man and know how to dance,” she added, “you’re a girl magnet. It’s really true.”

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Roz ought to know. She has instructed over 10,000 wannabe Fred Astaires and Ginger Rogers, ranging from folks wishing to cha-cha at a 50th anniversary celebration to engaged couples preparing to waltz at their wedding. She has been hired by hosts to teach party guests the dances beforehand, so everyone has the basics down to feel comfortable on the dance floor. She has also taught at saloons, hotels, and guest ranches, inside homes and outside in parks, at grade schools as well as senior citizen centers. Consequently, Roz can authoritatively declare that no one is too young or too old to learn to dance. “Whatever the age, the important thing is the ability to get the rhythm and follow directions,” cautioned Roz, whose classes have been featured on Montana Backroads. “The man has to learn to lead and the lady to follow,” she sais, “and they need to know a downbeat from an upbeat. The downbeat tells you when to start moving.” Roz advocates dance not just for pleasure and relaxation but also for the bonus of staying physically and mentally fit. While novices may think dancing is all about movement, Roz pointed out that paying attention matters, too.

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“Dancing keeps your mind sharp and your body in shape,” she said. “You have to be alert all the time to what your partner is doing and be thinking about your next steps.” One fringe benefit of taking Roz’s classes is that former students can attend current classes for free, so steps remain fresh in thought. Many who partake of this offer even volunteer to partner with new students wanting to learn to dance but without anyone to attend class with them. Roz cheerfully reported that 16 marriages have resulted so far from those pairings.

Another rewarding sidebar for Roz is teaching the children and grandchildren of some of her first students. They may come from Montana, another state, or another country, but all discover that dance is a universal language. It may require practice but no translation. MSN For information about Chris’s gicle prints and notecards, contact the Kristoffersens’ daughter, Darlene Wagner, at or 406-387-4000. To learn more about Roz’s dance instruction, call her at 406-752-8724.

Mud-Luscious Mania at the Helena Clay Arts Guild BY BERNICE KARNOP

His time at the Helena Clay Arts Guild not only matches his vocational training, it fulfills When he was a kid, Steve Carkeek loved to his desire to help other people. play with rocks and mud. His career allowed Steve helps veterans make clay projects him to work with rocks, and since he retired in an art program at Fort Harrison. He makes four years ago, he’s taken up the art of playing dozens of bowls for Empty Bowls fundraisers with mud again. for homeless women and children in both It’s not just any mud. Steve joined the Helena and Butte. He donates items for other Helena Clay Arts Guild and makes beautiful, fundraisers, including a functional, and sturdy birdbath for Audubon objects with clay. and a fountain for a As he got closer to Compassion Tanzania retirement from his project that digs wells job as a metallurgist for children in poverty. at American Chemet in The Clay Arts Guild East Helena, Steve departicipates in the Fall cided he’d build birdand Spring Art Walk in houses in his free time. Helena and they open He gathered a garage the Clay Arts Christmas full of boards and tools. Store for one month in Then at a Helena Fall December. Members Art Walk, he picked up a also have their art in art card from the Clay Arts stores and museums. Guild. He called and The Clay Arts Guild signed up for a beginof Helena (it is a sepner’s pottery class. arate group from the I got hooked on Archie Bray) opened its pottery,” he admits studios in 1999. From with a chuckle. “It’s 50 to 70 clay artists almost a drug for me.” RETIRED METALLURGIST STEPHEN CARKEEK DONS HIS share space in a large APRON FOR A SATISFYING DAY AT THE HELENA CLAY The birdhouse boards ARTS GUILD. warehouse-type buildhave yet to be touched. PHOTO BY BERNICE KARNOP ing divided into full Instead of testing studios, half studios, rocks for metals as he did for 33 years, he’s shared studios, or tub space. testing clay for the not-for-profit Clay Arts Member artists can come in 24/7 and use Guild. The thousands of different clays are the wheels, kilns, and other shared equipseparated into different “cones” that indicate ment. Most are over 50, according to Steve, the temperature at which the clay melts. Clay but they also include high school and Carroll is formulated to a precise melting standard College art students and others. According to and artists need to know what that temthe Helena Clay Arts Guild website, “We are perature is. Steve also tests the glazes and a community of like-minded individuals who combinations of glazes that turn different share the joy of playing with mud.” colors in the kiln. Steve’s best advice for people who are “It all goes back to the testing,” Steve says. nearing retirement is to find volunteer work Although testing is what he’s done all his in an area that interests them. life, he doesn’t claim to be an expert with “It keeps you alive and invested in your the clay arts. “I learn something new every community,” he says. When he joined the week,” he says. Helena Clay Arts Guild, he got to know a whole When he was a kid, his dad worked in the lot more people, expanded his interests, and mines in Butte. He brought mineral specimens developed friendships through the projects to Steve’s grandma, who displayed them all they share. over her house. The various colors and crystals Like a pot made of coiled clay, the layers of in these rocks drew him like a magnet. Steve Steve’s life meld together as if formed by an graduated from high school in Helena and unseen artist. His childhood interest in rocks, went to work for the Goodall Brothers Assay his development as a metallurgist, and finally office in Last Chance Gulch. After that, he his retirement joy in clay art blend into one worked for a mining company in Thompson well-planned work of art. Falls before American Chemet called and he “My life just seemed to be orchestrated. I returned to Helena. think God has his fingers in it,” he says. MSN



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